Thinking a bit about “Shock” while reading Benjamin and Eisenstein today. “Shock” as a term freighted with Dada’s anarchism, Benjamin’s mystical Marxism, Eisenstein’s communism. It’s a term that — at least when translated into English from German, French, Russian, etc — cuts across the first few decades of the twentieth century. But I’m not sure if “Shock” is always “Shock.” For Benjamin, shocks both stun and shatter constellations of thought, an instant of insensibility that leaves its trace in thought. For Eisenstein, the term relates to the affective dimensions of film content: “As I understand it, content is the summary of all that is subjected to the series of shocks to which in a particular order the audience is to be exposed” (“The Method of Making Workers’ Films”). Perhaps the only difference between the two of them is that Eisenstein is the filmmaker, and thus delivers shocks to the world, while Benjamin is subjected to them.