Did you Say Your Name was Shuvalkin, Kafka, Walter Benjamin, or is this a Prank?

In the last two blog entries, I have been looking into Benjamin’s “Vestibule” aphorism in which he recounts a dream where he discovers his name inscribed in Goethe’s guestbook.  To understand what this meant to Benjamin, I discussed Benjamin’s understanding of what a name is and why it is significant.  As I noted, Benjamin saw […]

On Failure and Happiness: Kafka, 1921

We have all experienced some degree of failure in our lives. But most of us would rather not reflect on it as it will most likely cause depression and self-loathing. On the other hand, when writers reflect on failure they can, somehow, find a way to make the reflection meaningful. In a well known letter […]

Gentle Irresistibility: Adorno on the Promises of Happiness and Truth in Walter Benjamin’s Work

Religion and philosophy are both interested in some form of ultimate good that results in happiness. Aristotle is often noted for saying that all human beings desire to be happy. Much of what we do is for the sake of happiness. For Aristotle, the desire for happiness is built into human nature and is achievable. […]