The reproducibility of the Angelus Novus in the moment of danger
Institute of Jewish Studies
Forum for world literature studies
, p. 398-405
University of Antwerp
Walter Benjamin's "Angel of History" inspired by Paul Klee's artwork "Angelus Novus" has become a modern icon that continues to receive international acclaim in markedly different contexts and situations. This reception raises questions about the conditions and implications of carrying Benjamin's allegory and, by extension, modernist icons as such, across cultural, temporal and political borders: Under what conditions can this arguably most radical of canonized mnemonic images of the past century be saved from conventionalization in order to continue to testify to the violence and destruction perpetrated over the course of human history until today? This question is addressed in a juxtaposition of several contrasting interpretations of Benjamin's famous allegory.