Methods of Indirection: a trialogue between Patrizia Bach, Howard Eiland, and Luis Berríos-Negrón about Walter Benjamin and translating The Arcades Project
Walter Benjamin deemed his Arcades Project [Das Passagen-Werk (Mit Bindestrich und Werk mit Capital W)] “the theatre of all my struggles and all my ideas.” As a vast accumulation of materials, it had become for him a literary laboratory for testing social, critical, and spatial ideas. The co-authors here present an exposition where they look to reactivate that ‘theatre’ to search, test, and draw from each other alternative recursions for their respective practices. Their respective discourses are intersected through a voluntary 'trialogue' that plays between three different roles aiming to diverge from the traditional form of a Q&A. The exchanges gravitate around ‘greenhouse’ as the historiographic display structure to the Arcades, as well as to Global Warming. But, the format also triggers ‘indirections’ urging unforeseen aspects that may further research and revisions of the Arcades. For the authors, such indirections actualise and translate, yet again, other dormant aspects of each others perceptions about Benjamin. Ultimately, joined by the attitude to share and reactivate that ‘theatre-laboratory’ with you—the reader and exposition visitor—the actors look for cues that encourage further procedures of experimentation and reflexion.