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Tom Matrullo has yet another beautifully written and – dare I say it? – deep meditation. Here he looks at Walter Benjamin’s thoughts on collecting as a type of ordering in which the passion for the unique overwhelms systematic classification.

Tom manages to mention EiM in the piece also, although Benjamin is talking about something far more difficult and important than my book does. Here’s Tom on the initial difference between what Benjamin is talking about and what EiM chatters about:

 Benjamin’s polarity is far more charged with value than with matters of the true. As Arendt notes, Benjamin puts into contagious adjacency the collector and the revolutionary. Both are good at breaking established orders. Take a suicide bomber and pin him, wriggling, to the wall. His purpose is subverted, at least changed: he’s no longer in service to Allah, but at the whim of the collector, who might merely be admiring his shoes, or his special grimace. Because the collector is not about rational ordering, or even passional use, but more about the whims of the performance of collecting.

2 Responses to “Walter Benjamin and the collector”

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