"The Library of Babel" is probably one of the most unique reading experiences that I've had - I feel like a need to read through it a couple more times and sit on it a bit before I can start unpacking it. Regarding the Walter Benjamin piece, I quite enjoyed his discussion regarding the relationship between 'aura' and ritual. Yet, for me, it's a bit difficult to think about 'aura' and authenticity in regards to literature, film, and video games, mediums to which I have only been exposed in the conext of contemporary mass production. Although first editions, director's cuts, and factory sealed video game cartridges can fetch a pretty penny (an unopened rare copy of Super Mario Bros for the NES sold at an auction this year for over $100,000), it would seem odd nowadays to judge a work of literature based on the copy you own - we even have an idiom that speaks to this point. Is this an indication, more than 80 years after Walter Benjamin's piece, of a larger societal disregard of ritual? Or, rather, should we look at 'aura' regarding literature more in terms of the physical vs. the digital? Is the 'aura' of art based in the ritual of "owning" a copy of a book, a film, or a video game? Can one even experience the 'aura' of a piece of art that was designed specifically for mass production?
Reproduction and Ritual
Submitted by Caleb Freeman on Tue, 03/26/2019 - 00:17