We need history because we need rest: a pause to rest our consciousness, so that the possibility of a consciousness may remain – as the seat not only of thought, but of practical reason, affording full latitude for action. Saving the past, saving time from the frenzy of the present: the poets devote themselves to this with exactitude. For this purpose we must work to weaken ourselves, to make ourselves idle, to make inoperative this endangering of temporality that wrecks experience and despises childhood. “Surprise the catastrophe”, said Victor Hugo. Or, as Walter Benjamin put it, throw oneself against the slow oncoming disaster that is more a continuation than a sudden rupture.