"Mysteries which must explain themselves, are not worth the loss of time, which a conjecture about them takes up."
— Sterne, A Sentimental Journey
"What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within this little span of life by him who interests his heart in every thing, and who, having eyes to see, what time and chance are perpetually holding out to him as he journeyeth on his way, misses nothing he can fairly lay his hands on."
— Laurence Sterne, A Sentimental Journey.

Just another in the series of #albumimages from the 1970s.


gernot schawarz [horst heinz bergmann].

Library Book Sale Finds, or I Am Insufferable.

"For every image of the past that is not recognized by the present as one of its own concerns threatens to disappear irretrievably."

Walter Benjamin, Theses on the Philosophy of History.

I’ve been reading some Benjamin lately, trying to acquaint myself.  One of the difficulties is that most of his writings are criticism of something else (duly noted in an piece I read online recently), raising the issue of whether the reader needs to be familiar with the underlying subject.  Also - the terminology, as he was very interest in Marxist theories of history, counterpoised against the very real Fascism of the 30s and schools like Futurism.  In some parts you have to navigate concepts and words which the intellectuals of that time used as ships in neverending skirmishes and interactions with each other.  (These continue, although the weapons and battle lines have shifted.)

I find Benjamin most interesting when he ventures away from technical arguments and careful analysis.  That is, I like the very weird Theses on the Philosophy of History, which, despite an accurate, if interest-killing, title, is actually just a series of thoughts on history.  It’s a strange mixture of Maxism, religion, lyricism, and stuff I do not recognize.  It’s the equivalent of a Japanese poem where the stanzas are all separate images stemming from an underlying theme.  Cool, odd stuff.

"The defense attorneys didn’t dispute that their clients fabricated documents that misled clients and regulators. But they sought to portray them as innocent victims of the scheme’s masterminds."

The road.