EXPERIMENTAL WRITINGS AND PROJECTS

PUBLISHER
Bierke

BOOK FORMAT
Paperback, 4.25 x 7 in. / 162 pgs.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Forthcoming

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: FALL 2017 p. 67   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9783981337075 TRADE
List Price: $12.95 CDN $16.95

AVAILABILITY
Awaiting stock

BOOKSELLER TRADE ANNOTATION

Walter Benjamin's reflections on dreaming -- together with chronicles of his own dreams -- collected for the first time
  • Walter Benjamin's theoretical analysis of dreams published for the first time in a single volume along with a comprehensive and chronological collection of his transcriptions of his own dreams. This will be a deeply personal read from Benjamin's perspective as well as an eye-opening exploration of his larger beliefs on the cultural / political implication of the dream during the early half of the 20th century.
  • The cover image is a cut out of the wonderful color seals which Benjamin developed himself as a visual reference notation register to transfer passages from his various notebooks to the main body of his famous ARCADE project.
  • ABOUT THE ARTIST: Walter Benjamin (1892 - 1940) was a German Jewish philosopher, cultural critic and essayist. His best known works are the essays "The Task of the Translator" (1923), "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" (1936), and "Theses on the Philosophy of History" (1940). His final, mythic, incomplete project was the Passagenwerk (Arcades Project, 1927-40) about Parisian city life in the 19th century.
  • PLACEMENT: A beautifully designed art / literary crossover title that can be shelved with literary memoir or dream psychology.
  • RELATED EXHIBITION: "The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin", The Jewish Museum, March 17 - August 6, 2017.

  

BIERKE

Dreams

By Walter Benjamin.

Edited with text by Burkhardt Lindner.

Though published during his lifetime, Walter Benjamin’s dream notes and theoretical reflections on dreams are collected here for the first time in a single volume.

Dreams highlights a dimension of Benjamin’s thinking that was invaluable for his writing and thought but which has thus far received little attention.

The first section, “Dream Notes,” is a comprehensive and chronological collection of Benjamin’s transcriptions of his own dreams and includes unpublished manuscript materials. The second section, “On Perception of Dreams: Awakening and Dream,” features his theoretical reflections on dreams, ranging from short aphorisms and longer analyses of dream literature and the history of dreams to the political conception of a “dreaming collective” and its awakening.
Editor Burkhardt Lindner describes Benjamin’s literary approach to his own dreams in the epilogue and gives a sketch of Benjamin’s own definition of the dream sphere, independent of and in contrast to Surrealism and Freud’s interpretation of dreams.

This handsome, pocket-sized reader presents Benjamin as both a great dreamer and an important theorist of dreams.

Walter Benjamin (1892–1940) is one of the 20th century’s most influential theorists and critics. A member of the Frankfurt school alongside Theodor Adorno, Ernst Bloch and Max Horkheimer, he also maintained close friendships with thinkers such as Marxist theorist Georg Lukács, playwright Bertolt Brecht and Kabbalah scholar Gershom Scholem. Among Benjamin’s best-known works are the essays “The Task of the Translator” (1923), “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (1936) and “Theses on the Philosophy of History” (1940). His major work as a literary critic included essays on Baudelaire, Goethe, Kafka, Kraus, Leskov, Proust, Walser and Scheerbart. In 1940, at the age of 48, Benjamin committed suicide in Portbou at the French–Spanish border while attempting to escape from invading Nazi forces. 


Dreams

STATUS: Forthcoming | 11/21/2017

This title is not yet published in the U.S. To pre-order or receive notice when the book is available, please email orders @ artbook.com

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FROM THE BOOK
A Selection of Dreams

Breakfast Room
A popular tradition warns against recounting dreams on an empty stomach. In this state, though awake, one remains under the sway of the dream. For washing brings only the surface of the body and the visible motor functions into the light, while in the deeper strata, even during the morning ablution, the grey penumbra of dream persists and, indeed, in the solitude of the first waking hour, consolidates itself. He who shuns contact with the day, whether for fear of his fellow men or for the sake of inward composure, is unwilling to eat and disdains his breakfast. He thus avoids a rupture between the nocturnal and the daytime worlds – a precaution justified only by the combustion of dream in a concentrated morning's work, if not in prayer, but otherwise a source of confusion between vital rhythms. The narration of dreams brings calamity, because a person still half in league with the dream world betrays it in his words and must incur revenge. Expressed in more modern terms: he betrays himself. He has outgrown the protection of dreaming naiveté, and in laying hands on his dream visages without thinking, he surrenders himself. For only from the far bank, from broad daylight, may dream be recalled with impunity. This further side of dream is only attainable through a cleansing analogous to washing, yet totally different. By way of the stomach. The fasting man tells his dream as if he were talking in his sleep.

Closed for Remodeling!
In the dream I took my own life with a rifle. When the shot rang out I did not awaken but gazed at myself for a while, lying there as a corpse. Only then did I wake up.

Groundworks
In this dream I saw a desolate expanse. It was the market square in Weimar. Excavations were in progress. I did a little scratching in the sand myself. As I did so, the tip of a church spire appeared. Delighted, I thought: a Mexican shrine from pre-animist times, Anaquivitzli. I woke up laughing. (Ana = avá; vi = vie; witz [joke] = Mexican Church [!])

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