What follows is an excerpt from Walter Benjamin’s 1928 book One-Way Street, his first definitively Marxist work. The photos that come afterward are of the modernist Moscow Planetarium, built by Mikhail Barshch, M. Siniavskii, and G. Sundblat in 1928-1929. Benjamin would write his well-known Moscow Diary over the course of his stay with Asja Lacis in Russia in 1926-1927, so he would not have been able to visit the structure, for which the foundation had not even been laid. Still, I would like to think that something of its spirit carried over from the missed encounter that isn’t just speculative fluff.
If one had to expound the doctrine of antiquity with utmost brevity while standing on one leg, as did Hillel that of the Jews, it could only be in this sentence: «They alone shall possess the earth who live from the powers of the cosmos.»…
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