Walter BENJAMIN in Port Bou

Been there? Done that? Where to go in the Pyrénées-Orientales

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Robert Ferrieux
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Walter BENJAMIN in Port Bou

Post by Robert Ferrieux » Sat 30 Oct 2010 06:10

I once went to Portbou with a German Professor from the University of Freiburg. We visited the cemetery and the Walter Benjamin memorial. My guest knew everything about the philosopher, and he explained to me that the olive tree (a wretched tree, by the way), the entrance to the memorial and the plaque form a perfect triangle symbolising the divinity. Whether this is true or not, I haven't verified, but there's a sequel to my little story. A few years later, I took a bunch of academics there; among them was another German professor, this time from the University of Bayreuth. He pondered over Benjamin's grave for a long time whilst I kept silent to respect his meditation. When he eventually emerged from it, he glared me in the face and said: "The quote on the grave is bad German; they could've made an effort, don't you think?"
RF.

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