10 April 2009

The Residue of the Past, Part IV

Walter Benjamin, from Illuminations:
There is a secret agreement between past generations and the present one. Our coming was expected on earth. Like every generation that preceded us, we have been endowed with a weak Messianic power, a power to which the past has a claim. That claim cannot be settled cheaply. (254)

(Anima est vita corporis, una in toto. From Comenius' Orbis pictus (1658), snagged from here.)

2 comments:

John McVey said...

methinks, Miss Whitney, you've an an emblematist become. baroque liftings from Comenius and Benjamin!

Whitney said...

I know! :) There's something so simple yet lovely and bizarre about that image from Comenius..