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Walter Benjamin: Never stop writing because you have run out of ideas

Photo credit: Akademie der Künste, Berlin - Walter Benjamin Archiv. Via Wikipedia

A modernist thinker

Considered one of the greatest modernist thinkers of the 20th century, Walter Benjamin was a philosopher, cultural critic, and essayist. His works show eclecticism, combining elements from different traditions as Romanticism, German idealism, Marxism, and Jewish mysticism. He made a great and influential contribution to the fields of aesthetics, philosophy, cultural studies, literary criticism, and historical materialism. Some of his best-known seminal works are The Task of the Translator (1923), The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1935), and Theses on Philosophy of History (1940). In the academic world, Walter Benjamin is highly-regarded and prominent as a man of ideas. However, a fact less disputed is that he developed a complex, lively, elegant, and refined non-linear writing style. Susan Sontag claimed that in his texts, sentences did not yield to ordinary logic, do not progress into one another, and are as each sentence "had to say everything, before the inward gaze of total concentration dissolved the subject before his eyes", a "freeze-frame baroque" style of writing and contemplation. To elucidate his meditations upon the topic, Walter Benjamin offers thirteen essentials of the writer's technique.

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