Messianism or History as Dissidence in the Work of Walter Benjamin
Maria João Cantinho
How can one think of History in a time in which Europe happened to be haunted by the specter of catastrophe, in our modern times? How can one escape the perils of Progress? This urgency determined the thought of Walter Benjamin since his youth, and decisively marked his conception of history itself, but also of his vision of language and of translation, of his own critique of art and reception. Starting from the concept of dialectic image as a new paradigm of comprehension of history, Benjamin tries to substitute an idea of a narrative of progress for discontinued and figurative idea of history, that regains in the present the possibility of reactivate the past and that values a qualitative dimension of temporality, instead of a quantitative temporality that homogenized and disfigured his reading of history. Benjamin takes, essentially from the idea of Messianism, as a secularized category of Jewish tradition, to “build” what he designated as “brushing history against the grain”, focusing on himself that potentiality of rescuing the “messianic parcel” that become our fate and that brings in itself the echoes of voices that come to us.
Messianism, History, Politics, Dialetic Image.