The oddness of its selection does not make the appearance of The Storyteller any less welcome. New texts are now available in English, and the volume is richly illustrated. The volume does not follow a strict chronological sequence; instead, it is divided in terms of three themes.
Both of these stories were probably written when Benjamin was a teenager. The Storyteller includes a translation of the entire review without the unpublished material Lindner provides. From at least one perspective, the earlier version is superior to the one in The Storyteller , for it is fully annotated.
After all, it is not necessary to know much about Enrico Rastelli to enjoy, reflect on, and make use of the story Benjamin published in a Zurich newspaper. But many of the items in The Storyteller suffer, I fear, from a paucity of notes. In other words, he is no longer the storyteller but, rather, the story-receiver. Why are others able to tell stories? Rastelli, for his part, tells a story for the sake of his position, which is as precarious as that of the storyteller. Benjamin, of course, did not invent storytelling at second hand; it is probably as old as storytelling itself.
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But after the war, for him, it was perhaps the only way in which a story could crystallize into written form — by presenting its teller as an intermediary in the absence of transmissible experience. But what about play? Benjamin broadcast a list of ambiguous words, which listeners would then use as the basis for a very short story or some lines of nonsense verse.
Can something similar be said about the dream reports included in The Storyteller? What is perhaps remarkable about the dreams here is how unremarkable they actually are.
For, when written down as narratives, in their expression of desire outside of physical, political and psychic constraints, dreams echo the general desire for a world that cannot so easily be imagined in the daytime. Not only do dreams operate against the status quo, but they do so through a universal or collective impulse.
In a note appended to this passage from the introduction, the editors refer to a letter Adorno wrote Benjamin in August that was translated in a Verso volume published almost 40 years ago, Aesthetics and Politics. Did Adorno ever suspect that the story was addressed to him? Rolf Tiedemann et al. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, , — Benjamin, Arcades Project, fragment N31, 2, page Other versions of the same passage contain the term Ort site , instead of Medium.
Paris: Gallimard, , — Ronald L. Martinez Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, , 44— Barth, , 1,, 1, On literature and drugs in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, see Alberto Castoldi, Il testo drogato: Letteratura e droga tra ottocento e novecento Turin: Einaudi, , 57— In their writings on hashish, Gautier and Baudelaire insist as well on the altered perception of colors: in their case, what is emphasized is a synesthetic percep- tion that associates colors with sounds. The fact that hashish changes our perception of time and space is underlined both by Gautier and by Baudelaire.
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The first occurrence of the term mass media , according to the Oxford English Dictionary, can be found in Noble T. The use of the term became widespread in sociologically oriented studies of communication only during the second half of the s. See Irmela Schneider and Peter Spangenberg, eds. Hans M. Wingler Berlin: Gebr. Heider, Ding und Medium, On the meaning of medium in T. Eliot and William James, see David W.
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Eliot and the Arts, ed. I thank David W. Trotter for the insightful suggestions on this subject.
Aristotle, De anima , B7, b, 5—6, and a, Aristotle, a, 20— I thank Emanuele Coccia for his insightful suggestions on this topic. On the history of the notions of medium, milieu, and ambiance, see L. See Hoffmann, Geschichte des Medienbegriffs. Hansen Chicago: University of Chicago Press , vii—xxii. Walter Benjamin, Fragmente vermischten Inhalts.
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