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Ardis Butterfield: Who was Chaucer?, 27 August 2015

... Chaucer that chose a different path again. The leisurely capaciousness of a Gesamtkunstwerk like Howard Eiland and Michael Jennings’s recent Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life, able to work its way through a mass of letters, reminiscences and anecdotes, is simply impossible without a great weight of material.3 Fiction is a separate decision. So one has ...

Reservations of the Marvellous

T.J. Clark, 22 June 2000

The Arcades Project 
by Walter Benjamin, translated by Howard Eiland.
Harvard, 1073 pp., £24.95, December 1999, 9780674043268
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... There are the Alps,’ Basil Bunting is supposed to have scribbled on his copy of the Cantos. ‘What is there to say about them?’ Mainly this, in the brief poem that follows: They don’t make sense. Fatal glaciers, crags cranks climb, jumbled boulder and weed, pasture and boulder, scree ... It takes some getting used to. There are the Alps, fools! Sit down and wait for them to crumble! Well, yes, I guess I shall end up scribbling much the same thing ...

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