“Benjamin: Existence Toward Space” A Confluence of Philosophy,Poetics and Messiah: An Interview with Peter Fenves

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Abstract

Walter Benjamin was taken as a post-structuralist and a"left"cultural critic in Chinese academia since his thought was first introduced into China in 1980s. To trace back to the origin and formulation of Benjamin’s aesthetics,an interview is conducted with Professor Peter Fenves,whose German literary and philosophical researches have been based on his explorations and explanations of Benjamin’s"Critique of Violence"( 1921). The interview focuses on the source of his thought and its trajectory of development,discussing such philosophers and poets as Kant,Leibniz,Hlderlin,Husserl,Heidegger and Derrida who may have influenced Benjamin. In the interview,Professor Fenves explicates the core concepts such as"transition","one-way street","monad","semblance","dialectical images"and"existence toward space"and so on,and reveals the confluence of philosophy,poetics and messiah in Benjamin’s thought. Besides,the interviewer and Professor Fenves have also discussed European assimilations of Chinese Daoism and demonstrated an internal dialogue between Benjamin’s aesthetics and Chinese traditional art.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-132
Number of pages9
JournalTheoretical Studies in Literature and Art
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014

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