Come il cosmo finì per diventare abisso: horror fati e rottura rivoluzionaria nella lettura benjaminiana dell’Eternité par les astres di Blanqui


  • Anna Nutini Università degli Studi di Milano



cosmos, eternal return, advanced capitalism, revolution


The concept of the cosmos presents itself as an aseptic construct when used in the scientific sphere, or refers to a chimerical metaphysical speculation detached from reality and therefore seemingly harmless. Instead, it contains an irreducible political character. The encounter with Blanqui's Eternité par les astres allows Benjamin to explore the relationship between the transformations of society within advanced capitalism and the cosmic doctrines that accompanied them. In Blanqui's writing, in particular, the cosmos becomes the screen onto which the capitalist fair of repetition is projected. The universe thus becomes an immense showcase and the stars that populate it are transformed into a crowd of commodities whose apparent novelty imprisons the masses in an obsessive spell. Behind the celebration of progress, supported by the perennial spectacle of consumption, Blanqui glimpses, by contrast, the repetition that leads towards catastrophe. The cosmos is revealed to be sustained by an infernal cycle that leads it to sink towards the abyss. In Benjamin's later works, the critique of the positivist doctrine of progress and the Nietzschean doctrine of the eternal return finds a decisive foothold in Blanqui's cosmic sentence. At the same time, however, Benjamin recognises the surrender that closes Blanqui's work as a further bewitching phantasmagoria to which it is necessary to react by unlocking the revolutionary chance that dwells in every moment of history. The concept of revolution itself is thus rethought by Benjamin through the original recovery of the link that this term has with the sphere of astronomy.