Passages - Homage to Walter Benjamin, Dani Karavan (Press Release)

On September 24, the Dom Paulo Evaristo Arns auditorium, at PUC-SP, hosted the debate on the re-edition of the book “Walter Benjamin: the shards of history”, by Jeanne Marie Gagnebin. Promoted by the University along with the Graduate Program and the International Institute of Contemporary Studies, Jeanne Marie invited Carla Milani Damião and Marc Beret to join the conversation, whose analyzes update the writings from 1982 to the present day.


“The book is old, not to say classic”, 

Photo: Disclosure Publisher N-1

joked Gagnebin, drawing laughter from those present. The author says that the cover of the reissue of the copy by Editora N-1 was based on the tribute paid to Benjamin by the Israeli artist, Dani Karavan. “The artist made an iron sculpture, as if it were a dark tunnel in which, little by little, you can see the sea and the light at the end of the tunnel. We need her”, she mentions in reference to the current Brazilian political situation.

Walter Benjamin wrote to himself

Jeanne Marie criticizes academicism, which drives philosophical writing through publications, and emphasizes writing as self-reflection and historical analysis, as Benjamin did. “When I think of the Weimar Republic and our situation today, I am scared of the Republic of Brazil. And also with this everyday fascism and the demand for authority. Very strange and cruel is that it seemed to me that there was in 1982, a dictatorial period, more hope in the air than there is today”, she comments.

Photo: Nayani Real

The title given to the book places the shards as the resistance still needed in 2018. “They are the things that break and we tend to throw away or that we don't know what they are for. Today the shards give us a tip to pay attention to what is small and for the time being is of no use, which we think are not worth keeping but maybe they are small pieces of resistance”, analyzes Jeanne Marie.

Beret points out the friendship between Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht as a symbol of alliance against the reactionary forces of fascism that was seen at that time, with two philosophical strategies, and praises the work of Jeanne Marie in restoring Benjamin's work without losing the relevance of the work philosophical.

The teacher at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Federal University of Goiás (FAFIL-UFG), Carla Milani Damião, brought the example of the history of Bahian Independence to talk about the saving effect of destruction, mentioned in an entry by Dag T. Andersson on the Benjaminian concept. “The savior aspect of destruction is the mark of memory, and memory can have the brutal mark of destructive intervention directed against the oblivion of tradition. History, says Benjamin, is not just a science, but a form of memory. Memory gives the past a space in which it is not exposed to progress, progress is disaster like the announced storm. Past sufferings and oppression will not be forgotten in the name of the future.”

Damião analyzed Benjamin's ideas clearly resonate in the example in the sense that the allegorical destructive gesture is characterized as a political cry and in the creative developments of a group. And ends “Hashtag He No”.


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