The Storm Blowing from Paradise: Walter Benjamin and Klee’s Angelus Novus

SubSense

| Stuart Jeffries | Versobooks.com|

The Storyteller: Tales Out of Loneliness gathers for the first time the fiction of the legendary critic and philosopher Walter Benjamin. Each text in the book is accompanied by a Paul Klee illustration. Below, Stuart Jeffries examines the meaning that Klee’s Angelus Novus held for Benjamin.

To celebrate the book’s publication, The Storyteller is for sale at 40% off until Monday, August 8.

In 1921, Walter Benjamin bought Paul Klee’s Angelus Novus

What was so marvellous to Benjamin about this goofy, eternally hovering angel with hair that looks like paper scrolls, aerodynamically hopeless wings and googly if rather melancholy eyes? “This,” he wrote in one of his greatest essays, “is how one pictures the angel of history.”

The German-Jewish philosopher and critic hung Angelus Novus in every apartment he lived in, not quite as a guardian angel but a suggestive presence that would…

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