The Last Days of Walter Benjamin’s Life
Using a precision indicating a sleepwalker his clumsiness invariably guided him to the centre of a misfortune.
Fortunately, though, this essay does have a persuasive and succinct account of the conclusion of Benjamin’s existence.
First Benjamin fled Paris, which was murdered and was almost about to be invaded by the German military, for Marseilles:
Spain had changed its policy to refugees only the day before:
From Marseilles he hoped to achieve Spain, as, as a German refugee, he did not have the correct exit papers.
The following morning he had been united soon after daybreak with his travelling partners. The route they took climbed ever higher, and sometimes it was almost impossible to follow rocks and gorges. Benjamin started to feel fatigued, and he embraced a strategy to make the most of his energywalking for 10 minutes and then resting for you, time these intervals just along with his pocket-watch. Ten minutes of walking and one of rest. As the route became progressively steeper, the 2 women and the boy were obliged to help himsince he couldn’t afford by himself to take the black suitcase he refused to abandon, insisting that it was more important that the manuscript inside it ought to reach America than that he needs to.
For Benjamin that day never came. He killed himself by consuming the 15 morphine tablets he had taken with him in case his cardiac problems recurred.
Benjamin was not an old man – that he was just 48 years old even if the years weighed more heavily at the time than they do now. However he was tired and unwell (his friends called him ‘Mature Benj’); he suffered from asthma, had already had a heart attack, and had always been sentenced to a physical activity, used as he was to spending his time either with his novels or in erudite conversation. For me personally, every movement, every physical undertaking represented a sort of trauma, yet his vicissitudes needed over the years required some 28 changes of speech. And in addition he had been bad at coping with all the mundane aspects of life, the prosaic necessities of everyday living.
I’ve always been a bit turned off by the obsession for this manuscript among Benjamin fans and readers. There’s something really shattering to me in regards to the end of Benjamin’s life, and how he died, that it seems not only trivial, but almost profane to freak out across the imaginary contents of a publication he might have left behind. I think exactly the same way about dead musicians. It’s all just terrible news.
Prior to adding them a comment of her particular:
He expired ignorance of the world, because he did not understand how to generate a fire or open a window.
[A]nyone coming ‘illegally’ would be shipped straight back to France. For Benjamin this meant being handed over to the Germans. The only concession they got, due to their exhaustion and the lateness of the hourwas to spend the night in Portbou: they would be allowed to remain in the Hotel Franca. Benjamin was awarded room number 3. They would be expelled the next day.
Now this guy seemingly inept from the regular business of living found himself needing to maneuver in the middle of war, at a nation on the verge of meltdown, in hopeless grief.
Hannah Arendt replicated with reference to Benjamin opinions produced by Jacques Rivière about Proust:
A tremendous physical effort has been required, although the group found themselves often on the point of giving them up, they eventually reached a ridge from which vantage point the sea seemed, illuminated by sunlight. Not much farther off was that the city of Portbou: from all likelihood they’d made it.