|Title||Secret Signals from Another World: Walter Benjamin’s Concept of Innervation|
Walter Benjamin refers to the “idea of revolution as an innervation of the technical organs of the collective” as one of the articles of his politics. The significance of this assertion has received relatively little attention in the philosophical reception of his political thought compared to the alternative model of revolution – made famous from the paralipomena to the late theses ‘On the Concept of History’ – as the emergency handbrake of history. Drawing on some of the debates and tensions generated by the work of Miriam Bratu Hansen, this discussion aims at an exegesis of some of the lesser known intellectual sources that influenced Benjamin’s theory of innervation. The purpose in doing so is not an attempt to reconcile or integrate these sources with dominant philosophical reconstructions of what is sometimes characterized as Benjamin’s “Western Marxism” and elaborated, in the more familiar context of Surrealist innervation, as a synthesis of Freud and Marx, but rather to reveal an alternative constellation of Soviet biomechanics and reactionary anti-capitalist Lebensphilosophie, united in their shared rejection of Freudian psychoanalysis.
|Keywords||Walter Benjamin, Ludwig Klages, Asja Lacis, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Sergei Eisenstein, Sergei Tretyakov, innervation, biomechanics, expressive movement|
|Journal||New German Critique|
|Journal citation||45 (3(135)), pp. 39-72|
|Publisher||Duke University Press|
|Accepted author manuscript|
|Published||01 Nov 2018|