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By Walter Benjamin

An soaking up collection of Walter Benjamin’s own manuscripts, photographs, and documents

The paintings of the nice literary and cultural critic Walter Benjamin is an audacious plotting of historical past, artwork, and notion; a reservoir of texts, commentaries, scraps, and fragments of way of life, artwork, and desires. all through his existence, Benjamin amassed jointly all types of artifacts, assortments of pictures, texts, and symptoms, themselves representing studies, principles, and hopes, every one of which used to be enthusiastically logged, systematized, and analyzed by way of their writer. during this means, Benjamin laid the foundation for the salvaging of his personal legacy.

difficult and intimate, Walter Benjamin’s Archive leads readers to the center of his highbrow international, yielding a wealthy and particular portrait of its writer.

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Additional info for Walter Benjamin's Archive: Images, Texts, Signs

Example text

How long he lodged or lay in Silver Street is something to look into: he was certainly there in 1604, when the marriage in question took place. ‘One Mr Shakespeare . ’ I think it was the marvellous banality of this phrase that first sparked my interest in the case. For a moment we see him not from the viewpoint of literary greatness, but as he was seen by the maid of the house, a woman of no literary pretensions, indeed unable to sign her name except with a rather quavery little mark. ‘Mr’ is perhaps not quite as banal as it looks, because it was at that time a contraction of ‘Master’ rather than of ‘Mister’ - it is the term of address for a gentleman, a connotation of status.

That is, an early Jacobean pound was worth about £200 today, a shilling (1S) about £10, and a penny (1d) something under £1. My research on this book has been greatly assisted by staff at the National Archives, British Library, Guildhall Library, London Library, Victoria and Albert Museum, French Protestant Church and Ealing Local History Centre in London, the Bodleian Library in Oxford, and the Bibliothèque Municipale in Amiens. I am particularly grateful to James Travers for his help in tracking down some elusive documents; to Susan North and Jenny Tiramani for advice on early Jacobean costume; and to Matt Steggle, Colin Burrow, Christiane Gould-Krieger, Elsie Hart, Kat Underwood, Thomas Dumont and the late Eric Sams for help and expertise generously given.

For Charles William Wallace, they revealed Shakespeare as ‘a man among men’ (and indeed women). For Samuel Schoenbaum, the Belott-Mountjoy suit is unique because alone among the Shakespeare records it ‘shows him living amidst the raw materials for domestic comedy’. 12 These are splendid invitations, and it is curious that no one has fully responded to them. The broader story that emerges from the case has not been told; this unexpected little window into Shakespeare’s life remains to be opened.

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