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Hate and Be Silent: Romantic Anticapitalism’s Deafening Silence in Walter Benjamin and Jia Zhangke

Hate and Be Silent: Romantic Anticapitalism’s Deafening Silence in Walter Benjamin and Jia Zhangke Walter Benjamin and filmmaker Jia Zhangke both use the trope of silence to register a critique of the effects of capitalist development on their respective societies that is fundamentally romantic. For Benjamin and Jia, the strength of the romantic sensibility is its break with more systematic or traditional methods of capitalist critique. Their work is therein more open to the contingencies and possibilities of their historical moments. That silence is a principal trope in their critiques corroborates the open-endedness of their work’s deeply skeptical messages about capitalist modernity. The article examines several texts on silence by Benjamin, including his dispute with Theodor Adorno over critical method in The Arcades Project. Similarly, it considers silence’s role in several key Jia films. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions Duke University Press

Hate and Be Silent: Romantic Anticapitalism’s Deafening Silence in Walter Benjamin and Jia Zhangke

positions , Volume 26 (1) – Feb 1, 2018

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Copyright
Copyright 2018 Duke University Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1527-8271
DOI
10.1215/10679847-4263119
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Walter Benjamin and filmmaker Jia Zhangke both use the trope of silence to register a critique of the effects of capitalist development on their respective societies that is fundamentally romantic. For Benjamin and Jia, the strength of the romantic sensibility is its break with more systematic or traditional methods of capitalist critique. Their work is therein more open to the contingencies and possibilities of their historical moments. That silence is a principal trope in their critiques corroborates the open-endedness of their work’s deeply skeptical messages about capitalist modernity. The article examines several texts on silence by Benjamin, including his dispute with Theodor Adorno over critical method in The Arcades Project. Similarly, it considers silence’s role in several key Jia films.

Journal

positionsDuke University Press

Published: Feb 1, 2018

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