Walter Benjamin’s Kabbalah of Naming Things

Walter Benjamin

Walter Benjamin

In one short paragraph, the great German-Jewish critic and philosopher Walter Benjamin connects the dots among art and creativity, language and perception (epistemology), and the Creation story of the Bible, thus conjuring his own mysticism, his own Kabbalah:

“The name receives and assimilates the ‘language issuing from matter,’ the ‘communicating muteness’ of nature through which God’s word radiates. The task of naming would be impossible were not the nameless language and the naming language related in God, released from the same creative word. Our knowledge of things – generated in the names with which we allow their language to pass into us – is essentially creativity relieved of its divine actuality; the knower is made in the image of the creator.”

This is why I adore Walter Benjamin.



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