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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Laurie Anderson - The Dream Before (for Walter Benjamin)

Hansel and Gretel are alive and well
And they're living in Berlin
She is a cocktail waitress
He had a part in a Fassbinder film

 

And they sit around at night now
Drinking schnapps and gin
And she says, 'Hansel, you're really bringing me down.'
And he says, 'Gretel, you can really be a bitch.'

 

He says, I've wasted my life on our stupid legend,
When my one and only love was the wicked witch.

 

She said, What is history?
And he said, History is an angel
Being blown
Backwards
Into the future
He said: History is a pile of debris
And the angel wants to go back and fix things
To repair the things that have been broken

 

But there is a storm blowing from Paradise
And the storm keeps blowing the angel
Backwards
Into the future

 

And this storm, this storm
is called
Progress

The Angel of History.

A Klee drawing named “Angelus Novus” shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe that keeps piling ruin upon ruin and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.

 

Walter Benjamin,
Ninth Thesis on the Philosophy of History