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Document Details :
Title: Een onbeduidende plaats
Subtitle: Over contingentie en noodzaak
Author(s): SYMONS, Stéphane
Journal: Tijdschrift voor Filosofie
Volume: 76 Issue: 2 Date: 2014
Based on Benjamin’s detailed description of the experience of looking at a photograph, this essay retraces his intuition that something seemingly insignificant (unscheinbar) can aquire an unsuspected layer of meaning in the eye of the beholder. In a passage that focuses on a portrait of photographer Karl Dauthendey’s wife, Benjamin describes how he, despite evidence to the contrary, already anticipated the wife’s suicide in what otherwise appears to be a very peaceful image. In Benjamin’s mind, the nonsensical connection that is set up between two very different associations makes for an experience that can be called redemptive since it injects a feeling of possibility into the very experience of facticity.