"Memory is not an instrument for exploring the past but its theatre. It is the medium of past experience, as the ground is the medium in which dead cities lie interred."
"Life can only be understood backwards but it must be lived forwards."Walter Benjamin on Soren Kierkegaard
"The only source of knowledge is experience."Walter Benjamin on Albert Einstein
"Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn."Walter Benjamin on C. S. Lewis
"Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes."Walter Benjamin on Oscar Wilde
"A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way."Walter Benjamin on Mark Twain
"The greater the decrease in the social significance of an art form, the sharper the distinction between criticism and enjoyment by the public. The conventional is uncritically enjoyed, and the truly new is criticized with aversion."
"The art of storytelling is reaching its end because the epic side of truth, wisdom, is dying out."
"It is precisely the purpose of the public opinion generated by the press to make the public incapable of judging, to insinuate into it the attitude of someone irresponsible, uninformed."
"The idea that happiness could have a share in beauty would be too much of a good thing."
"Death is the sanction of everything the story-teller can tell. He has borrowed his authority from death."