Walter Benjamin and the Principle of Repetition

Marina Montanelli


The following essay aims to analyze the problem of repetition in the reflection of Walter Benjamin. Showing first of all how this concept, singularly neglected by critics, is the unexpected centre towards which the philosopher’s entire reflection converges, thus offering a new reading of his entire production. All the vast domains of Benjamin’s speculation are thoroughly rethought starting from this idea, revealing how what is at stake is a more articulated movement of the eternal recurrence of the same, which characterizes mythical temporality. A movement that has to do with the constitution of the human and which indeed exhibits an intimate link between repetition and innovation, repetition and the constructive principle. Another intention of this text is therefore to carry out an in depth analysis of this connection, to question the nature of such a gesture, both repetitive and differential, and its relationship with the recurrence of the ever self-same, therefore with the possible way out of the myth.


Benjamin; repetition; innovation; eternal recurrence; constructive principle

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