Iwant to know more: Text & reflections
In this section we will share past and present texts, news, analysis, personal and foreign experiences and other complicities.
The first contribution to this section is an excerpt from the short text in which Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) speaks about book collection and the ceaseless and futile longing of the collector in trying to complete and apprehend a collection.
- I am unpacking my library. Yes, I am. The books are not yet on the shelves, not yet touched by the mild boredom of order. I cannot march up and down their ranks to pass them in review before a friendly audience. You need not fear any of that. Instead, I must ask you to join me in the disorder of the crates that have been wrenched open, the air saturated with the dust, the floor covered with torn paper, to join me among piles of volumes that are seeing daylight again after two years of darkness, so that you may be ready to share with me a bit of the mood - it is certainly not an elegiac mood but, rather, one of anticipation- which these books arouse in a genuine collector. For such man is speaking to you, and on closer scrutiny he proves to be speaking about himself. Would it not be presumptuous of me if, in order to appear convincingly obejctive and down-to-earth, I enumerated for you the main sections or prize pieces of a library, if I presented you with their history or even their usefulness to a writer? I, for one, have in mind something less obscure, something more palpable than that; what I am really concerned with is giving you some insight into the relationship of a book collector to his possessions, into collecting rather than a collection...
Excerpt from: Walter Benjamin. Illuminations. Essays and Reflections, Unpacking My Library. Talk about Book Collecting. Schocken, 1969