Once Upon A Time

Once Upon A Time
Photography in the Footsteps of Walter Benjamin
Ariella Azoulay

This book presents a new interpretation of the major essays of the German Jewish philosopher, Walter Benjamin, by emphasizing the underlying visual elements in his writings. The visual aspect, and particularly photography, interfere with one's understanding of the text, misleading both the author and his readers, causing them again and again to confuse seemingly minor details - identity of characters, chronological order and details in the story. In this work these ''errors'' are regarded as an inevitable result of the meeting of the visual and the textual dimensions, and the author emphasizes their key role in restoring the spectator's moral perspective. This approach results in a novel interpretation of some of Benjamin's most important essays: ''Critic of Violence'', ''On the Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility'' and ''On the Concept of History''. From the series Interpretation and Culture. Interpretation and Culture – A Series Edited by: Prof. Avi Sagi Man's nature is to interpret. Human beings, as individuals and as members of a society, are constantly engaged in the interpretation of their deeds, their values, their world and entire realm of activity. The act of interpretation is not the exclusive domain of scholars who research culture. Rather, it is first and foremost, common to every person in this world who strives to find meaning in all spheres of his activity. The act of interpretation is one of the distinguishing characteristics of human existence. Man as a creative thinker is not content with action alone. On the contrary, his acts are accompanied by explanation aimed at understanding. The art of interpretation is usually imbedded in the physical act itself. It is not confined to the light of awareness and methodological consciousness. However, at times interpretation becomes the main focus of study and our attention is diverted from practice to theory. This transition marks the beginning of a new interpretive approach to the study of different areas of human activity by means of deciphering, analysis and description. Such work is carried out by the theoretician and interpretation becomes an independent research discipline. The series ''Interpretation and Culture'' deals with interpretative instances. The books in the series treat the field of interpretation in various aspects: interpretation of literary, philosophical and theological texts, and interpretation of cultures and societies. Each and every book strives to propose an original, challenging interpretive reading.
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Danacode:   110-20094 ISBN:  965-226-315-X Language:   Hebrew Pages:   184 Weight:   305 gr Dimensions:  16X23 cm Publication Date:   02/2006 Publisher:   Bar-Ilan University Press