Inspirational Walter Benjamin Quotes

Walter Benjamin (15 July 1892 – 26 September 1940) was a German Jewish philosopher and cultural critic. This post features some Inspirational Walter Benjamin Quotes.

An eclectic thinker, combining elements of German idealism, Romanticism, Western Marxism, and Jewish mysticism, Benjamin made enduring and influential contributions to aesthetic theory, literary criticism, and historical materialism.

Walter Benjamin Quotes
Walter Benjamin Quotes

Walter Benjamin Quotes

“History is written by the victors.”
― Walter Benjamin

“Solitude appeared to me as the only fit state of man.”
― Walter Benjamin

“Writers are really people who write books not because they are poor, but because they are dissatisfied with the books which they could buy but do not like.”
― Walter Benjamin

“The only way of knowing a person is to love them without hope.”
― Walter Benjamin

“The distracted person, too, can form habits.”
Walter Benjamin quotes

“Any order is a balancing act of extreme precariousness.”
― Walter Benjamin

“Truth resists being projected into the realm of knowledge.”
― Walter Benjamin

“All human knowledge takes the form of interpretation.”
― Walter Benjamin

“It is only for those without hope that hope is given.”
Walter Benjamin

“To be happy is to be able to become aware of oneself without fright.”
― Walter Benjamin

“Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom.”
― Walter Benjamin

“All efforts to make politics aesthetic culminate in one thing, war.”
― Walter Benjamin

“Our image of happiness is indissolubly bound up with the image of redemption.”
― Walter Benjamin

“Gifts must affect the receiver to the point of shock.”
― Walter Benjamin

“There is no document of civilization that is not at the same time a document of barbarism.”
― Walter Benjamin

“Every morning brings us news of the globe, and yet we are poor in noteworthy stories. This is because no event comes to us without being already shot through with explanation.”
― Walter Benjamin

“I came into the world under the sign of Saturn — the star of the slowest revolution, the planet of detours and delays.”
― Walter Benjamin

“Genuine polemics approach a book as lovingly as a cannibal spices a baby.”
― Walter Benjamin

“The work of memory collapses time.”
― Walter Benjamin

“How many cities have revealed themselves to me in the marches I undertook in the pursuit of books!”
Walter Benjamin quotes

“Something different is disclosed in the drunkenness of passion: the landscape of the body… These landscapes are traversed by paths which lead sexuality into the world of the inorganic. Fashion itself is only another medium enticing it still more deeply into the universe of matter.”
― Walter Benjamin

“What has been forgotten is never something purely individual.”
― Walter Benjamin

“Boredom is the dream bird that hatches the egg of experience. A rustling in the leaves drives him away.”
― Walter Benjamin

“You could tell a lot about a man by the books he keeps – his tastes, his interest, his habits.”
― Walter Benjamin

“As long as there is still one beggar around, there will still be myth.”
― Walter Benjamin

“Not to find one’s way around a city does not mean much. But to lose one’s way in a city, as one loses one’s way in a forest, requires some schooling.”
― Walter Benjamin

“Work on good prose has three steps: a musical stage when it is composed, an architectonic one when it is built, and a textile one when it is woven.”
― Walter Benjamin

“Work on a good piece of writing proceeds on three levels: a musical one, where it is composed; an architectural one, where it is constructed; and finally, a textile one, where it is woven.”
― Walter Benjamin

“Every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector’s passion borders on the chaos of memories.”
― Walter Benjamin

“In the end, we get older, we kill everyone who loves us through the worries we give them, through the troubled tenderness we inspire in them, and the fears we ceaselessly cause.”
― Walter Benjamin

“The destructive character lives from the feeling, not that life is worth living, but that suicide is not worth the trouble.”
― Walter Benjamin

“Memory is not an instrument for surveying the past but its theater. It is the medium of past experience, just as the earth is the medium in which dead cities lie buried. He who seeks to approach his own buried past must conduct himself like a man digging.”
― Walter Benjamin

“Languages are not strangers to on another.”
― Walter Benjamin

“We do not always proclaim loudly the most important thing we have to say. Nor do we always privately share it with those closest to us, our intimate friends, those who have been most devotedly ready to receive our confession.”
― Walter Benjamin

“Let no thought pass incognito, and keep your notebook as strictly as the authorities keep their register of aliens.”
― Walter Benjamin

“The fairy tale, which to this day is the first tutor of children because it was once the first tutor of mankind, secretly lives on in the story. The first true storyteller is, and will continue to be, the teller of fairy tales.”
― Walter Benjamin

“No poem is intended for the reader, no picture for the beholder, no symphony for the listener.”
Walter Benjamin quotes

“It is the task of the translator to release in his own language that pure language that is under the spell of another, to liberate the language imprisoned in a work in his re-creation of that work.”
― Walter Benjamin

“A generation that had gone to school on a horse-drawn streetcar now stood under the open sky in a countryside in which nothing remained unchanged but the clouds, and beneath these clouds, in a field of force of destructive torrents and explosions, was the tiny, fragile human body.”
― Walter Benjamin

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