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  • Writer's pictureTerry Pace

Illuminations: Essays and Reflections

Updated: Mar 24, 2020

Illuminations is a posthumous book of collected essays written by Walter Benjamin (RIP 1892-1940). I have a 1968 version of the collection edited by Hannah Arendt (RIP 1906-1975) that was given to me by my dear friend and colleague Rockey Robbins. Rockey knows much more about Benjamin than I do and I hope to get Dr. Robbins to write some guest posts for me along the way. Benjamin was a German cultural and literary critic and a philosopher. His works have had a profound influence in literature, literary criticism and philosophy over the past 80 or so years. In Illuminations there are essays on book collecting, translations, novelists and storytelling in general, memory and the nature of history. Any aspiring writer or storyteller should read Benjamin. I have read him and peruse him from time to time looking for some illumination. I'm not sure I can translate the wisdom so found into action, but I am at least pointed in the best of directions! For example, Benjamin says "All great storytellers have in common the freedom with which they move up and down the rungs of experience as on a ladder." Such freedom of thought and feeling is also what I tried to teach to counselors in training as they are really storytellers and story hearers of a certain type and must have access to all of experience as that is what their patients bring in the diversity of real flesh and blood.


Please note that I am also reviewing a companion sort of book by Larry McMurtry (yes that Larry McMurtry) entitled "Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen."

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Terry Pace
Terry Pace
Mar 18, 2020

Thanks.

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Leah Pace
Leah Pace
Mar 18, 2020

Test

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