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WALTER BENJAMIN

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Claire O'Malley

on 29 August 2013

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Transcript of WALTER BENJAMIN

WALTER BENJAMIN
THE AUTHOR AS PRODUCER
NEW LEFT REVIEW, 1970
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED SPRING 1934
TENDENCY
http://www.kanonmedia.com/portfolio/publications/benjamin_paris.html
THE CONCEPT OF TECHNIQUE
BENJAMIN ASKS HOW A LITERARY WORK STANDS IN RELATION TO THE RELATIONSHIP OF PRODUCTION OF A PERIOD?

SOCIAL AND MATERIALIST ANALYSIS
SERGEI TRETIAKOV
EXAMPLE OF THE "OPERATIVE WRITER"
EMPLOYS THE CORRECT POLITICAL TENDENCY AND LITERARY TECHNIQUE

WRITER IS A PARTICIPATOR, A STRUGGLER, RATHER THAN OBSERVER
THIS TECHNIQUE LENDS ITSELF TO THE CORRECT POLITICAL TENDENCY
LEAD TO THE FORMATION OF AGRICULTURAL COLLECTIVES


LITERARY FORM
BENJAMIN INTRODUCES THE IDEA THAT LITERARY FORMS EXPAND BEYOND THE NOVEL

THE BREADTH OF TECNHIQUES IS LARGE

FORMS OF EXPRESSION SHOULD BEST FIT THE SOCIETY AND PURPOSE. SOME ESTABLISHED FORMS OF LITERATURE COULD LOSE THEIR POWER
ADVENT OF THE NEWSPAPER
"SHOWPLACE OF LITERARY CONFUSION"
ASSIMILATION OF READERS, INTERTWINING OF AUTHOR AND READER

"AUTHOR AS PRODUCER DERIVED FROM THE PRESS"

REDUCES SEPARATIONS BETWEEN AUTHOR & READER, WRITER & POET, AND BETWEEN GENRES

REVOLUTIONARY POLITICAL TENDENCY CANNOT OCURR WITH IDEAOLOGY.

ONLY AS A PRODUCER CAN AN AUTHOR CAUSE CHANGE.
THE CREDO OF ACTIVISM
LOGOCRACY: THE POWER OF INTELLECT
INTELLECTUALISM: REACTIVE, NOT REVOLUTIONARY

DOBLIN: "KNOW AND TRANSFORM"
AN INTELLECTUAL SHOLD TAKE UP A POSITION WITHIN HIS CAUSE

CLASS STRUGGLE DETERMINED BASED ON THE POSITION OF PRODUCTION

BRECHT
FORM AND CONTENT IN POLITICAL LITERATURE

CORRECT POLITICAL TENDENCY CONTAINS CORRECT LITERARY TENDENCY

FIT TOGETHER UNDIALECTICALLY
BRECHT
FUNCTIONAL TRANSFORMATION
LIBERATION AS A MEANS OF PRODUCTION

NOT SPIRITUAL, BUT TECHNICAL INNOVATIONS

THE "NEW OBJECTIVITY"


THE NEW OBJECTIVITY
AND ART


BARRIERS BETWEEN ART AND LITERATURE MUST BE BROKEN DOWN. A WRITER MAY USE PHOTOGRAPHS, A CONCERT CAN BECOME A POLITCAL MEETING WITH WORDS.




BRECHT'S EPIC THEATER

DADAISM
EPIC THEATRE
MODERN FORM OF THEATRE ADAPTED TO THE CHANGING FORMS OF EVTERTAINMENT SUCH AS FILM AND RADIO

TRANSFORMS RELATION OF STAGE AND PUBLIC

INSTILLS THOUGHTFULNESS

MEDIATED SOLIDARITY
"THE REVOLUTIONARY STRUGGLE DOES NOT TAKE PLACE BETWEEN CAPITALISM AND THE INTELLECT, BUT BETWEEN CAPITALISM AND THE PROLETARIAT."

A SUCCESSFUL WRITER MUST ALIGN HIMSELF WITH THE CORRECT POLITICAL AND LITERARY TENDENCY.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertolt_Brecht
MARIA GOUGH: PARIS, CAPITAL OF THE SOVIET AVANT-GARDE
A FURTHER EXPLORATION OF BENJAMIN'S "AUTHOR AS PRODUCER" ESSAY AND HIS EFFORTS TO ESTABLISH HIMSELF AS A PARISIAN INTELLECTUAL
PARIS, 1930'S
INTELLECTUALS ESTABLISH THEMSELVES AS ANTI-FASCIST

GATHER IN JEAN DALSACE'S PARISIAN HOUSE: MAISON DE VERRE : A REVOLUTIONARILY DESIGNED HOUSE MADE OF GLASS AND METAL

A SALON FOR MARXIST INTELLECTUALS INCLUDING MAX JACOB, YVES TANGUAY, AND LOUIS ARAGON
THE SALON
"A CULTURE OF GLASS"
THE CULTURE OF GLASS
BENJAMIN'S INTERPRETATION OF SCHEERBERT'S CULTURE OF GLASS: A "WELL-VENTILATED UTOPIA"

ALIGNE WITH ARTISTIC MOVEMENTS OF CUBISM, SURREALISM, AND CHANGES IN ARCITECTURAL STYLE AND DESIGN.


WAR AND CULTURE
POST WAR CULTURE CONTRADICTS PRE-WAR HUMAN EXPERIENCE

WORK OF BAUHAUS, LE CORBUSIER, BRECHT ALL DEALS WITH A POSITIVE, POST-WAR CONCEPT OF BARBARISM, OR LACK OF CULTURE AND CIVILIZATION

GLASS SYMBOLIC OF BARBARISM: TRANSPARENT, HARD, "ENEMY OF SECRETS"
LE CORBUSIER
http://beautyofconcrete.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/le-corbusier-architect/
BAUHAUS
http://nadinechicken.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/bauhaus-dessau-1925.jpg
REFUNCTIONING
BRECHTIAN CONCEPT: RESPONSIBILITY OF THE MODERN INTELLECTUALIST AND SPECIALIST.

RETURNING TO TRET'IAKOV--ESPECIALLY HIS SUCCESSES IN THE COLLECTIVIZATION OF AGRICULTURE--AS THE OPERATIVE WRITER. THIS EXAMPLE STANDS OUT AS A THESIS OF HIS WORK.

"THE TECHNICAL REVOLUTIONS ARE THE FRACTURE POINTS OF ARTISTIC DEVELOPMENT."

-WALTER BENJAMIN
CHALLENGES TO INTELLECTUALS IN CLASS STRUGGLE
OPPOSITION TO "TENDENCY" AND "QUALITY" FROM PROLETARIAN WRITERS THAT BENJAMIN'S 1934 ESSAY OPPOSES
GOUGH REITERATES BENJAMIN'S POINT THAT "THE TENDENCY OF A LITERARY WORK CAN BE POLITICALLY CORRECT IF IT IS ALSO LITERARILY CORRECT."
PROGESSIVENESS IS CRUCIAL.
INTELLECTIALS "DEPRIVED" OF POWER TO CONTROL PRODUCTION
"PROLETARIANIZED POSITION IN PRODUCTION"

-RAMON FERNANDEZ, LITERARTY CRITIC
TRET'IAKOV INVOLVED AT EVERY LEVEL OF COLLECTIVE'S OPERATIONS
ANACHRONISM
"TO BE LATE IN TIME" OR "OUT OF HARMONY WITH THE PRESENT"
STEMS FROM ANXIETY ABOUT SPREAD OF FASCISM IN EUROPE AND CONCERN ABOUT CLASS STRUGGLE
COMMUNE MAGAZINE
ASKS "FOR WHOM DO YOU WRITE"
PRODUCER ESSAY EMERGES AS A POST-WAR RESPONSE
FASCIST RIOTS
GOUGH ARGUES THAT BENJAMIN'S ESSAY PSERVES TO PREVENT A DEFEAT OF THE FRENCH LEFT. THE ESSAY IS A DIRECT RESPONSE TO THE DEFEAT OF THE GERMAN LEFT.
"CULTURAL PRODUCTION AND MATERIALIST CRITICISM" IS THE SOLUTION TO A FALL OF THE LEFT AND INTELLIGENTSIA.
CONCLUSION
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