The Benjamin Effect: Modernism, Repetition, and the Path to Different Cultural Imaginaries
Harry D. Harootunian
That which lies in ruins, the highly significant fragment, the remnant, is, in fact, the finest material in baroque creation. For it is common practice in the literature of the Baroque to pile up fragments ceaselessly, without any strict idea of a goal, and, in the unremitting expectation of a miracle, to take the repetition of stereotypes for a process of intensification.
-- Walter Benjamin, The Origin of German Tragic Drama
Repetition can always be 'represented' as an extreme resemblance or a perfect equivalence. But that one moves by degrees from one thing to another does not change the difference in nature between the two things. . . . And everywhere the Other in the Repetition of the Same.
-- Gilles Deleuze, Difféence et répétition
When repetitive deeds are gathered and piled on top of each other, we will certainly discover there the immediacy of existence. . . . The history we have become acquainted with is repetitive (because) the footprints of the people's past have never stopped.
-- Yanagita Kunio, Kyōdo seikatsu no hōhō
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Publication information: Book title: Walter Benjamin and the Demands of History. Contributors: Michael P. Steinberg - Editor. Publisher: Cornell University Press. Place of publication: Ithaca, NY. Publication year: 1996. Page number: 62.
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