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Radio Benjamin: Berlin Guttersnipe

A story about stories from the Tiergarten, a wilderness within early 20th Century Berlin. Benjamin digresses with a number of what he calls 'inlays' here, offering multiple descriptions of the same subject—the child in the city—separated by different narrators and decades. This episode also describes bark and paper boats drifting along city gutters, book shop labyrinths, childhood magic shows, and not such nice pranks with string played upon unwitting drunks.



Radio Benjamin


Walter Benjamin’s radio broadcasts (1929 - 1932) are a selection of children stories written and read by Benjamin during his colossal research project The Arcades Project, an allegorical look into the birth of modernity in 19th Century Paris. Though the series of broadcasts and the Arcades in general are decisively incomplete, the two enterprises echo one another in content, replete with provocative digressions, and unlikely connections (or "secret affinities"). The independent radical publishing house Verso Books has published a nuanced translation of Radio Benjamin, and Clocktower Radio is pleased to present the recorded version of the comprehensive project for the first time in English. Read by New York artist Corey McCorkle, the 29 extant transcriptions will also be annotated with linking principle themes explored in the Arcades Project with the wild variety of subjects Benjamin outlines in these 20 minute stories. The extended radio program is a priceless glimpse into the humor and methodology of one of the most important theorists of authenticity, progress, and the political implications of new media on the masses during the earlier part of the 20th Century.

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