Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin was a German Jewish philosopher and
cultural critic. An eclectic thinker, combining elements of German
idealism, Romanticism, Western Marxism, and Jewish mysticism.
Born: July 15, 1892, Berlin, Germany
Died: September 26, 1940, Portbou, Spain
‘Work on good prose has three steps:
a musical stage when it is composed,
an architectonic one when it is built,
and a textile one when it is woven.’ – W.B.
Walter Benjamin: The Writers Technique in Thirteen Theses in Four Parts
THE WRITER’S TECHNIQUE IN THIRTEEN THESES Part One
1. Anyone intending to embark on a major work should be lenient with himself and, having completed a stint, deny himself nothing that will not prejudice the next.
2. Talk about what you have written, by all means, but do not read from it while the work is in progress. Every gratification procured in this way will slacken your tempo. If this regime is followed, the growing desire to communicate will become in the end a motor for completion.
3. In your working conditions avoid everyday mediocrity. Semi-relaxation, to a background of insipid sounds, is degrading. On the other hand, accompaniment by an etude or a cacophony of voices can become as significant for work as the perceptible silence of the night. If the latter sharpens the inner ear, the former acts as a touchstone for a diction ample enough to bury even the most wayward sounds.