Walter Benjamin’s Barndom i Berlin kring 1900 (Berlin Childhood Around 1900) resembles Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. Benjamin recalls in his memory an object or event that he lends new meaning. It is possible to read reality, but only through particular moments: “The author holds lived hours in his hands just as the collector holds an art object.” With a map over Berlin and an extensive commentary by Ulf Peter Hallberg about Walter Benjamin and the classic Baedeker tourist Guide, this book is the perfect travel companion for anyone journeying to modern-day Berlin who also wants to stroll around in the past.
Walter Benjamin (1892–1940), German-Jewish philosopher and critic, reads the past through the city of Berlin in order to create possibilities for what is to come. The story and the myth are woven together in the concretion of the remembered images. Time compels the human being to interpret the past, a task which remains ongoing and unfinished.
Ulf Peter was born in Malmö but has lived in Berlin since 1983. He has translated, amongst others, Shakespeare, Walter Benjamin, Molière, Bertolt Brecht and Peter Handke. In 1992 and 2016, he was awarded the Swedish Academy’s and the Royal Swedish Academy of Science’s translation prize.