Sunday, April 04, 2021

It might be stated as a general formula that the technology of reproduction detaches the reproduced object from the sphere of tradition. By replicating the work many times over, it substitutes a mass existence for a unique existence. And in permitting the reproduction to reach the recipient in his or her own situation, it actualizes that which is reproduced. These two processes lead to a massive upheaval in the domain of objects handed down from the past—a shattering of tradition which is the reverse side of the present crisis and renewal of humanity. Both processes are intimately related to the mass movements of our day. Their most powerful agent is film. The social significance of film, even—and especially—in its most positive form, is inconceivable without its destructive, cathartic side: the liquidation of the value of tradition in the cultural heritage.
He was such an ass.
"...it substitutes a mass existence for a unique existence." The fantasy of modernism, of communism and liberalism, Benjamin, Bourdieu and Donald Davidson: the end of individual experience; the substitution of ideas for people; the rule of generalizations, and idealized as opposed to deprecated bureaucracies.

There's no loss of "aura" for the mass production of poetry.  One copy of Lear is as good as another; the intimacy of language is the same on velum or newsprint. Even before Gutenberg manuscripts were secondary  That applies to film, to a point.  Substituting a postcard for a Piero della Francesca is mutilation. 

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