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Walter Benjamin Quotes

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Quotations in my work are like wayside robbers who leap out armed and relieve the stroller of his conviction.

The adjustment of reality to the masses and of the masses to reality is a process of unlimited scope, as much for thinking as for perception.

The art of storytelling is reaching its end because the epic side of truth, wisdom, is dying out.

The art of the critic in a nutshell: to coin slogans without betraying ideas. The slogans of an inadequate criticism peddle ideas to fashion.

The camera introduces us to unconscious optics as does psychoanalysis to unconscious impulses.

The construction of life is at present in the power of facts far more than convictions.

The destructive character lives from the feeling, not that life is worth living, but that suicide is not worth the trouble.

The greater the decrease in the social significance of an art form, the sharper the distinction between criticism and enjoyment by the public. The conventional is uncritically enjoyed, and the truly new is criticized with aversion.

The idea that happiness could have a share in beauty would be too much of a good thing.

The only way of knowing a person is to love them without hope.

The true picture of the past flits by. The past can be seized only as an image which flashes up at the instant when it can be recognized and is never seen again.

There is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism.

Things are only mannequins and even the great world-historical events are only costumes beneath which they exchange glances with nothingness.

To be happy is to be able to become aware of oneself without fright.

Work on good prose has three steps: a musical stage when it is composed, an architectonic one when it is built, and a textile one when it is woven.

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