The article attempts to examine Th Moscow Diary by Walter Benjamin through the perspective of his theory of mimesis. Mimetic techniques have served Benja- min for not only hermeneutic purposes. With their help, he constructed his own affective experience and way of being in culture. Thus, one of the possible ways ofunderstanding Th Moscow Diary is to see this text as a rhetorical and mimetic ges- ture, organized in a highly complex manner, simultaneously presenting a paradox- ical form of love, an understanding of the craft of writing, and the concept of the city. The basis for this gesture is Benjamin’s mimetic theory, which understands imi- tations as “concentrations of similarities.” Benjamin believes that similarities, which used to pervade the macrocosm, changed their scale and lost their sensual incarna- tion, becoming “unsensible similarities.” For him, such a metamorphosis is ambig- uous, as it sharpens mimetic perception. The mimetic ability becomes focused primarily in language: in the letter.The writer, constantly honing their ability to work with the simulacra ofimplied and written, stated and written, is thereby responsible for the “techne” of language, and thus affects the most essential processes of life. For Benjamin, writ- ing not only becomes a magical tool for describing reality, but also for acting on it. For him, the prose Nikolai Leskov associated with the new image of the sto-ryteller as a craftsman is a model of virtuosity and technical perfection. It pro- vides Benjamin with the concept of “craft of communication” that allows him to simultaneously save the phantasm of the beloved as the “pearl without a flaw,” to expand the space of his own sensuality, and to constitute the experience of love as “amour pour rien,” or “love without reason.” Leskov’s short novel, Senseless Love, may be viewed as a close precedent to Benjamin, and allows him to form its own position in relation to Asya Lacis as grounded in the experience of the Real, i.e., that which is associated with the metaphysical absurdity of the experience of faith.
|Translated title of the contribution||"AMOUR POUR RIEN": TECHNIQUES OF AFFECTIVE MIMESIS BY WALTER BENJAMIN|
|State||Published - 2018|