Ausgraben und Erinnern: Nomida Chodai Eiga and Betrayal on a Railroad Track

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Abstract:

By way of introduction, I would like to recount an anecdote that Susan Buck-Morss relates in her seminal work The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project; (1991), and recall Benjamin's words for Paul Klees' "Angelus Novus." In 1982, Buck-Morss attended an international conference on Walter Benjamin at the University of Frankfurt; the same university, she is quick to remind us, that had denied Benjamin the chance to work in 1926. About it, she tells us that she remembers "nothing of this debates, perhaps because they have been so often repeated." She goes on to explain that "the wisdom came not from us that morning," but from a German student who evoked the memory of those missing from the room -- "those German Jews who might have been part of his [Benjamin] generation of students." Buck-Morss tells us that, "all at once the room filled with ghosts. We shivered." (Buck-Morss, 1991: 335).

Keywords: Walter Benjamin; ausgraben und erinnern; betrayal; cultural heritage; mass culture; tradition

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/ac.10.1.126_1

Publication date: September 1, 1998

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  • Asian Cinema is a seminal journal, which has been published since 1995 by the Asian Cinema Studies Society under the stewardship of Professor John Lent. From 2012 Asian Cinema will be published by Intellect as part of our Film Studies journal portfolio. The journal currently publishes a variety of scholarly material - including research articles, interviews, book and film reviews and bibliographies - on all forms and aspects of Asian cinema. The journal's broad aim is to advance understanding and knowledge of the rich traditions of the various Asian cinemas, thereby making an invaluable contribution to the field of Film Studies in general.
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