How many cities have revealed themselves to me in the marches I undertook in the pursuit of books!” – Walter Benjamin: “Unpacking my Library”. I am unpacking . 30 Apr Walter Benjamin’s “Unpacking My Library” Illuminations: Essays and Reflections. Ed. Hannah Arendt. Schocken Books; New York, 24 Aug Last night, in the midst of moving books all over my house, I took the opportunity to revisit Walter Benjamin’s essay “Unpacking My Library.

Author: Telar Nill
Country: Pakistan
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Music
Published (Last): 21 April 2009
Pages: 29
PDF File Size: 5.15 Mb
ePub File Size: 4.31 Mb
ISBN: 668-9-29814-813-6
Downloads: 54773
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Kazibei

If I do this by elaborating on the various ways of acquiring books, this is something entirely arbitrary. During my visit, I bought a small pile of books—probably 4 or 5, maybe half a dozen—but my memory of what they were is hazy. AnnotationReadingsSchoolWalter Benjamin.

Though my hometown of New Haven, Connecticut is by no means a backwater, and indeed as I got older I spent more and more time escaping home to New York and to Boston, at the time, visiting my cool older sister in California was still an exciting and novel opportunity to get away from my parents. You are commenting using your WordPress. My copy of Journey to the Center of the Earthread for the first time many decades ago, became in its alphabetically ordered section a stern companion of Vercors and Verlaine, ranking higher than Lobrary Yourcenar and Zola but lower than Stendhal and Nathalie Sarraute, all members of the conventional fraternity of Libgary literature.

Schocken Books; New York, So to me, unpackinb 17, City Lights was it. Walter Benjamin benjaamin book collecting. We pay every one!

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Memories of the cities in which he found his treasures, memories of the auction rooms in which he bought several of them, memories of the past rooms in which his books were kept. Like any good museum, the flow of the Liibrary Museum ultimately leaves us in a gift shop it actually starts there too.


Walter Benjamin on book collecting

unpcaking It came with me from Connecticut to Philadelphia and followed me through 4 different apartments there. Benjamin takes the majority of the essay describing the various means of acquiring books and retelling stories of some of the books within his library. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. It is its objecthood, and my intimate possession thereof wherein lies its meaning, wherein I live.

They propose that material objects can tell us, can teach us, something about the world, about how we see the world. This museum, like so many museums, tells us as much about how Cimino wants us to see the world than it does about how we already see it.

But one thing should be noted: Cities he visited, rooms he occupied. Notify me of new comments via email. Unpacking, as Benjamin realized, is essentially an expansive and untidy activity. It sells contemporary fiction and critical theory.

There are no original manuscripts or confidential correspondence; the artifacts on display did not, by and large, play a pivotal part in History with a capital H. O bliss of the collector, bliss of the man of leisure! Blake, Keats, Whitman for Ginsberg. When unpacking his library, Benjamin says he is filled with images and memories he associates with the books. In lkbrary so, my oldest sister moved to San Francisco.

You are commenting using your Facebook account. ActualIy, inheritance is the soundest way of acquiring a collection. Every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector’s passion borders on the brnjamin of memories.

Every book I have, I have for a reason.

Unpacking My Library: On Book Collecting, City Lights and the Beat Museum

These things overshadow the functional, utilitarian aspect of the object. So, like Walter Benjamin, rather than the book being defined by what wwlter says, by what is written inside, the book is defined for me by where it comes from and who I was when I bought it.

Even though public collections may be less objectionable socially and more useful academically than private collections, the objects get their due only in the latter. Kiersten said, on June 1, at 1: Thus it is, in the highest sense, the attitude of an heir, and the most distinguished trait of a collection will always be its transmissibility.


I do know that time is running out for the type that I am discussing here and benjjamin been representing before you a bit ex officio. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Traveling to San Francisco was no small feat, and undoubtedly part of the feat was convincing my parents to let me go in the first place.

Of no one has less been expected, and no one has had a greater sense of well-being than the man who has been able to carry on his disreputable existence in the mask of Spitzweg,’s “Bookworm. ynpacking

Here there are few spectacular items. I am unpacking my library. I was enamored with Kerouac, could recite from memory the famous lines from On the Road: I realize how petty, how egotistical it seems, this longing to own the books I borrow. For what else is this collection but a disorder to which habit has accommodated itself to such an extent that it can appear as order? The home library of William Randolph Hearst. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.

So unpacking my library allows me — indeed, forces me — to re-live my past, evaluate my present, and consider my future. Not everyone likes museums like unpackint one. Email required Address never made public. Post was not sent – check your email addresses! Fontana,pp. Excerpted from Packing My Library: