Quotation by Walter Benjamin

Only he who can view his own past as an abortion sprung from compulsion and need can use it to full advantage in the present. For what one has lived is at best comparable to a beautiful statue which has had all its limbs knocked off in transit, and now yields nothing but the precious block out of which the image of one's future must be hewn.
Walter Benjamin (1892–1940), German critic, philosopher. repr. In One-Way Street and Other Writings (1978). "Antiques," One-Way Street (1928).
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