At the same time, the novel also tells the story of a (fictitious) young Spanish left-wing militant, Laureano, who fought in the Civil War, and is now on the run from the fascist government. Laureano is a man of action, and his is a story of war, comradeship and passion that contrasts starkly with Benjamin. The two men are from completely different worlds, but are destined to cross paths at some point.
Bruno Arpaia's novel is an impressive work indeed and he does an excellent job of both describing the fears and frustrations that people had to deal with on a daily basis in those times, as well as portraying a sympathetic and life-like image of Benjamin. Very enjoyable indeed, though the translation from the Italian could have been better edited.
'Angelus Novus' by Paul Klee, a painting that was owned by Walter Benjamin. He saw this picture as representing the angel of history, its back to the future while it contemplates the past and the increasing pile of wreckage and ruin that is produced by the catastrophe of history.
Walter Benjamin at work in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, photographed by Gisele Freund.