«A generation of scholars has not yet succeeded in producing a satisfactory account of what the ‘dialectical image’ meant to Benjamin, but it is clear it was associated with feelings of nostalgia, suffocation, isolation and torpor that most scholars do not share when they study popular culture. Benjamin’s writing is full of affect: intense emotion, tightly constrained by his bibliophilic habits. When the affect is boiled away, Benjamin is quotable, but what kind of foundation does that provide?»

—James Elkins, preface to A Skeptical Introduction to Visual Culture

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