More copy-blogging with Benjamin

Under the “command” invoked in Benjamin’s “One-Way Street” (cf. previous post), I surrender and comply.  Transcribed below are two more passages from that text, with the headings under which they appear.  Page references are to vol. 1 of the Selected Writings.

Come Back!  All Is Forgiven!

Like someone performing the giant swing on the horizontal bar, each boy spins for himself the wheel of fortune from which, sooner or later, the momentous lot shall fall.  for only that which we knew or practiced at fifteen will one day constitute our attraction.  And one thing, therefore, can never be made good:  having neglected to run away from one’s parents.  From forty-eight hours’ exposure in those years, as if in a caustic solution, the crystal of life’s happiness forms.  (446)

“Chinese Curios”

There are days when no one should rely unduly on his “competence.”  Strength lies in improvisation.  All the decisive blows are struck left-handed.  (447)

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