Walter Benjamin – On Some Motifs in Baudelaire

In the mid-nineteenth century, the invention of the match brought forth a number of innovations which have on thing in common: a single abrupt movement of the triggers a process of many steps. The development is taking pace in many areas. A case in point is the telephone, where the lifting of a receiver has taken the place of the steady movement that used to be required to crank the older models. With regard to countless movements of switching, inserting, pressing, and the like, the “snapping” by the photographer had the greater consequences. Henceforth a touch of the finger sufficed to fix an event for an unlimited period of time. The camera gave the moment a posthumous shock, as it were. Haptic experiences of this kind were joined by optic ones, such as are supplied by te advertising pages of a newspaper or the traffic of a big city. Moving through this traffic involves the individual in a series of shocks and collisions. At dangerous intersections, nervous impulses flow through him in rapid succession, like the energy from a battery.


  1. I’ve been reading studies and articles about Baudelaire. I’m quite fond to those by Walter Benjamin. All in all since I must make an extended essay in the topic. I just found your page and it’s seems interesting what you’ve written. Though I’m dealing with the Artist as an agent and how he’s implied into the trasendence of the Art during his own age, how the calamities created by Art -in this case, Baudelaire’s inmoral poetry arson the new movements of poetry and in some sense the morallity during the period. Perhaps with this idea of Marx’s engines of history.

  2. Just to be clear, that’s good old Walter B’s writing, not mine. Unless you’re talking about something else I’ve written. In which case, thanks for reading!

  3. agrees, but with this it can not be helped, it is in their blood

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