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A Weak Messianic Power – Figures of a Time to Come in Benjamin, Derrida, and Celan - Fordham Scholarship Online
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A Weak Messianic Power: Figures of a Time to Come in Benjamin, Derrida, and Celan

Michael G. Levine


In his famous theses on the philosophy of history Benjamin writes: “We have been endowed with a weak messianic power to which the past has a claim.” This claim addresses us not just from the past but from what will have belonged to it only as a missed possibility and unrealized potential. For Benajmin, as for Celan and Derrida, what has never been actualized remains with us, not as a lingering echo but as a secretly insistent appeal. Because such appeals do not pass through normal channels of communication, they require a special attunement, perhaps even a mode of unconscious receptivity. Levi ... More

Keywords: Theses on the Concept of History, Psychoanalysis, Historical Materialism, Derrida, Celan, Benjamin, A Weak Messianic Power, Redemption, Circumcision, Traumatic Repetition

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780823255108
Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2014 DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823255108.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Michael G. Levine, author
Rutgers University