Stuart Jeffries, 17 June 2021
Walter Benjamin praised Siegfried Kracauer as a fellow ragpicker, sorting through cultural trash for meaning. In writing about our bewitchment by ephemera, Benjamin wanted to shock readers out of consumer fetishism and raise revolutionary consciousness. Kracauer had no such pretensions. He was never as dedicated a Marxist, still less convinced that pointing out the fatuities of consumer capitalism would shake the masses out of their delusions.