By Benjamin, Walter; Weigel, Sigrid; Benjamin, Walter
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Extra resources for Body-and image-space : re-reading Walter Benjamin
In the dialectical images of the Passagen project, on the other hand, we find a materialization of the language of the unconscious, the spatialization of dream structure, that is, a materialization of the imaginary in the organic and inorganic external world, or body social (Gesellschaftskörper). l, 490). Where the body’s aids to memory—one speaks today of Körpergedächtnis, corporeal memory— have disappeared, the author shifts his work of recalling and deciphering onto the world of things as the material of the collective unconscious—what is nowadays called the social imaginary.
2, 603–4). The result is a network of comparative reflections on different signs—in the image, on the body, or in the face—which in terms of their materiality and matrices are quite distinct from one another. In this sense it is already at this early stage, as opposed to only later in the ‘bodyand image-space’ of 1929 or in the two essays of 1933 in which he develops the ideas contained in his essay on language of seventeen years earlier, that Benjamin modifies his reflections on a theory of language to take account of the ‘forgotten relation of man to his origin in matter’ that Stoessel remarks upon in the text of 1916 (Stoessel 1983:69).
11 The traces in Benjamin’s writings of body—appearing both specifically as the corporeal (Leib) and under the more general term for body, or mass (Körper)—and of body-space are rather less obvious and more intricate. Since the publication of the ‘Miscellaneous Fragments’ (Fragmente vermischten Inhalts) in volume VI of the Gesammelte Schriften (1985) it has at any rate become clear what a significant role reflections on the corporeal played already in Benjamin’s early notes on psychology and anthropology written shortly after the essay (similarly not intended for publication) ‘On Language as Such and on the Language of Man’ (1916).
Body-and image-space : re-reading Walter Benjamin by Benjamin, Walter; Weigel, Sigrid; Benjamin, Walter