The Nazi Party came into power in Germany in 1933. The critic and writer Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) foresaw the consequences this new regime would have among the jewish population and that very same year he fled to Paris. During his exile he wrote some of the most relevant essays that reflected his thought. “Experience and poverty” (1933) (REF) is among those. Here, Benjamin introduces the concept of “poverty of experience”, an idea he would go through again in “The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction” (1936) (REF). In both essays he presents a humanity whose poverty must prepare it for a new “start from zero” from an optimistic perspective. From now on, this essay will name this idea as “Poverty of experience I” (PEI). Nevertheless , in other essays such as “The Storyteller” (1936)(REF) or “Some motifs on Baudelaire”1 Benjamin developes a much more detailed idea -historically and critically speaking- of “poverty of experience” . We will refer to is as “Poverty of experience II” (PEII).
Poverty of Experience I
In “Experience and poverty”, the philosopher points out what is, according to him, the essential characteristic of his time. This is not the destruction of a culture, but surviving the annihilation of Culture itself.
“Poverty” (Armut) (REF?) understood as Benjamin does in “Experience and poverty” has a double meaning here. On one hand, it may be interpreted as an allusion to the uncontrollable economic inflation, the shortage of raw materials, and…