Ad plures ire

Über literarische Antizipation nach Walter Benjamin
(Wien: Passagen 2022)

That literature still reaches us over centuries is not solely our achievement. Our current reception corresponds with a past anticipation that is inscribed in the texts. Literary communication takes place between times and creates a collective, it speaks to a „we“ that it must anticipate and yet can only expect.

“ ‚Ad plures ire‘ meant to die for the Latins,“ Walter Benjamin reminds us and gives euphemism an unforeseen afterlife. Going to the many no longer sugarcoats death, but becomes a symbol of aesthetic and philological experience. These many form a collective of the deceased, who still address us through writing, speak to us, and await us. The essays gathered here attempt to follow this collective through Ovid, Montaigne, Lacan, and finally Benjamin, and describe its persistence. Reception corresponds with literary anticipation, the impossible yet necessary anticipation of the many future readings that every text brings with it.