March 5, 2015

Walter Benjamin on the secret resistances of things

“Warmth is ebbing from things. The objects of daily use gently but insistently repel us. Day by day, in overcoming the sum of secret resistances—not only the overt ones—that they put in our way, we have an immense labor to perform. We must compensate with our warmth if they are not to freeze us to death.”
Walter Benjamin

March 1, 2015

Karl Knausgaard on the triumph of American technique

I had never really understood how a nation that so celebrated the individual could obliterate all difference the way this country did. In a system of mass production, the individual workers are replaceable and the products are identical. The identical cars are followed by identical gas stations, identical restaurants, identical motels, and, as an extension of these, by identical TV screens, which hang everywhere in this country, broadcasting identical entertainment and identical dreams. Not even the Soviet Union at the height of its power had succeeded in creating such a unified, collective identify as the one Americans lived their lives within.
Karl Ove Knausgaard

From "Knausgaard in America," New York Times Magazine, March 1, 2015