Sunday, February 27, 2011

Book #7

Walter Benjamin does a lot of hashish after reading Baudelaire and deciding that while Artificial Paradise is a great work--one which "monitors the psychological states aroused by hashish poisoning for their philosophical importance"--he must complete a book on hashish himself. Thus launches a series of "experiments" (intellectuals don't get baked--they do "experiments") in and around Marseille.

Of course Benjamin's book was never completed; what is collected here are his notes and ramblings about hashish. Some of it is redundant, some of it is actually written by his co-conspirators, and some of it has been published elsewhere in different collections of unpublished notes and ramblings (The Arcades Project).

Walt engages in fits of howling laughter whilst strolling around in public, orders nearly everything on restaurant menus not because of the munchies but out of a sense of fairness to all entrees, and dicourses on all sorts of high-fallutin stuff like Surrealism and Nietzsche and his idea that children become impertinent once they discover they cannot perform magic.

The best part, however, is when he invites Gershom Scholem over and they synch up Dark Side of the Moon with The Wizard of Oz.

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