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Is Benjamin alive? Investigating Walter Benjamin's reapparances


Walter Benjamin

As it happens, Walter Benjamin is the new Tupac Shakur is the new Elvis Presley. Despite his death in 1944, the theorist has been spotted internationally, and even recently released a book. He also graced us with his presence at e-flux HQ for the opening of The Unmaking of Art.

Adam Leith Gollner writes in Hazlitt:

Over the past few years, Benjamin has been made numerous international appearances. He has lectured in Chinese at the Times Museum in Guangzhou, in Spanish at the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporaneo in Mexico City, in English at the Arnolfini in Bristol, and in French at Vancouver’s Institutions by Artists convention. Different actors are hired to play his part at each of the presentations. Midway through his Vancouver event, “Benjamin” experienced some technical difficulties with a projector. He excused himself by saying, “I am not good at technology, I am from another age.”

So what’s the deal? Check out Gollner’s longread on Hazlitt for the full story.


I personally am not sure if I am dead or alive, or if I am both at the
same time. But perhaps the more interesting question is if I am only
a historical character or I could also appear in some places/stories
that are outside of history?

ps. I would also suggest this review of my book:


On that note: