From flâneur to web surfer
The tendency towards images dominating narrative, style taking over at the expense of substance, the rise of irony, and the celebration of all that is irrelevant, which is generally regarded as characteristic of the present day could also be read in Benjamin’s terms. The web surfer who is given the opportunity to take a look at what 353,111 individuals – unknown to him – around the globe had for lunch, is perhaps driven by an intoxicated curiosity similar to that of the flâneur. They both represent a social type that is in constant search of ever new sensations: An ‘intoxication’ comes over him; he feels ‘the magnetism of the next streetcorner’ and he wants to satisfy ‘the deep human need for daydreaming.’
While I created this blog (on a whim,) I was not blind the fact that tumblr is the perfect blog for Benjamin. Were he alive today, would have been his blogging platform of choice.
Benjamin was a collector, first of books and then, as he immersed himself in historical study, of philosophical fragments and quotations. Hannah Arendt points out in her introduction to Illuminations that Benjamin was exhausted by the thought of writing an essay. Instead, he preferred the bits and pieces that “rupture the continuum of cultural developments called ‘progress’” (Andrew Arato, The Essential Frankfurt School Reader). These pieces that seem insignificant, the rubble of history, offer more precise navigation to the past than other artifacts that dominate our vision and perpetually pull us backwards.
Thus tumblr is a perfect platform for a blog about Benjamin: tumblr is a lightweight blogging platform for diverse media, and allows you to share your collected fragments with others.
Keep watching for more reasons on why Tumblr is perfect for Benjamin.