A not very generous assessment from 1996 (though I’m struck by that the concessive “mind you” apostrophe to the reader) …
Read Richard Shiff’s piece in Public 13. Interesting take on Benjamin’s notion of aura being implicated in touch and vision. Lots of restatement and little analysis. I did like the use of De Anima. Fun to find two texts that I used in my thesis used here also but somewhat different[ly]. Shiff seems to be totally unaware of Adorno’s critique of Benjamin. In particular the stuff on the dialectical image. This I believe would not allow [him] to place Benjamin as an unquestioned authority at the head of an essay that essentially develops a typology. I’m not opposed to typologies per se but would love to know how & why a particular one operated. There is something a bit imperialistic about a typology that starts out from a collapse of touch & vision. Mind you I’m the one who argues for narrativity as the abstract level necessary for translation between all sensory modalities. I don’t fetischize physicality & materiality which at some level Shiff does.
Makes me want to reread the piece to see if my mini-critique holds up.
And so for day 548