ARTICOLI / 7 / Vivian Liska /
Can us think the catastrophe? If we want to face the paradox that links the suddenness of the catastrophe and the temporality of thought we will find really useful Walter Benjamin’s work, that intersects among each other the conflicting modalities of the experience. He conceives an “ambiguity in face of decision”, both as a disaster and as a saving possibility. Benjamin opposes to the continuity of the being — which is catastrophe in itself — a form of writing that maintains and keeps suspended other possibilities, creating a space of thought in which it hopes to find his freedom in front of the emerging catastrophe. The letters written by Benjamin between 1919 and 1939 give us several information on his long farewell to Europe, which he never accomplished. In these letters, and in particular in his reflections on his inevitable departure from Europe, as a consequence of its catastrophic events, emerges in a paradigmatic way the space of play (Spielraum) to which Benjamin opposes the catastrophe, defining it starting from its very lacking of a room for an action.