Melancholy & Redemption (in Benjamin and Rosenzweig)


The Origin of German Tragic Drama (1916, 1925) by Walter Benjamin and The Star of Redemption (1921) by Franz Rosenzweig are kissing cousins.

The contents are isomorphic:

Melancholy and the problem of history and tragic subjectivity fall all under the lights of some distant star-constellation brought up close and down to earth as death-heads transform into angelic countenance, the petrified landscape of created-death redeemed by violent death and martyrdom, by a violent sex that is stronger than death.

Steeped in expressionist bathos, both texts, the one by Rosenzweig and the one by Benjamin, sidle up alongside stories by Kafka and Paul Wegener’s 1919 (?) film, The Golem: How He Came Into the World.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
This entry was posted in uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply