On Hashish by Walter Benjamin

On Hashish Paperback 06/02/2006

By Walter Benjamin
Paperback
$12.79 USD

Walter Benjamin's posthumously published collection of writings on hashish is a detailed blueprint for a book that was never written - a 'truly exceptional book about hashish', as Benjamin describes it in a letter to his friend Gershom Scholem. A series of 'protocols of drug experiments,' written by himself and his co-participants between 1927 and 1934, together with short prose pieces that he published during his lifetime, "On Hashish" provides a peculiarly intimate portrait of Benjamin, venturesome as ever at the end of the Weimar Republic, and of his unique form of thought. Consciously placing himself in a tradition of literary drug-connoisseurs from Baudelaire to Hermann Hesse, Benjamin looked to hashish and other drugs for an initiation into what he called 'profane illumination'. At issue here, as everywhere in Benjamin's work, is a new way of seeing, a new connection to the ordinary world. Under the influence of hashish, as time and space become inseparable, experiences become subtly stratified and resonant: we inhabit more than one plane in time. What Benjamin, in his contemporaneous study of Surrealism, calls 'image space' comes vividly to life in this philosophical immersion in the sensuous. This English-language edition of "On Hashish" features a section of supplementary materials - drawn from Benjamin's essays, letters and sketches - relating to hashish use, as well as a reminiscence by his friend Jean Selz, which concerns a night of opium smoking in Ibiza. A preface by Howard Eiland discusses the leading motifs of Benjamin's reflections on intoxication.

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Book Details

Format
Paperback
Publisher
The Belknap Press
Publication date
Jun 2 2006
Language
English
ISBN-13
9780674022218
ISBN-10
0674022211
Weight
256g
Dimensions
140.0mm by 190.0mm