Walter Benjamin Lived Here X 3

Most of you know that the main reason I came here was for sensual (sensory) research. I wanted to see & touch the stone, WB lived with and on. I wanted to smell his neighbourhoods; I wanted to see the light through the trees as he did.

And I have been rewarded with so much more! Atho’ today was not nearly as romantic perhaps as previous days: the dish soap exploded in the street, the metro didn’t stop twice and I had to pee so so so! and the French embassy may not be able to get Vajdon a visa in time for a visit. All of that said, the sex workers that still work their tuckuses off on Kurfurstenstrasse just past Potsdamerstrasse more than welcomed me; the black-black bumble bees with their red tips out in Charlottenburg seemed to accept me, and the frogs hanging from the lamp pole (which surely is old enough to have been there during his time at Magdeburger Platz 4) let me hang onto them while the neighbours gawked. Plus, found Walter Benjamin’s Archive (published by Verso and produced by the Archive staff) at the oldest English-language bookstore , Marga Schoeller Buecherstube (it survived the Nazi’s, for goddsakes and has hosted Beckett, Auden, you name them). Very nice people. I told them that they have a great store, save one thing: they don’t have The Drifts! Shameless, awful, I know.

It was—as ever—an eye-opening experience. It’s been a long time, too long apparently, since I’ve been propositioned while stopped on my bike. There are the elm leaves and the difference in the sidewalk stone. There are the little former doorbell sockets and the marble slabs separating from the rest of the building. There is the fine Sicilian Syrah I am sipping now. These sensual impressions provoke my imagination.

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~ by Thom on May 9, 2011.

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