Although Walter Benjamin was never timid when it came to writing, one practice he consistently avoided was that of creating neologisms. It is therefore with all the more reluctance that I find myself compelled to resort to something similar, in order to sum up a motif that has imposed itself over the years in my reading of Benjamin. What is involved is, to be sure, not exactly a neologism, since it does not involve the creation of a new word, but rather the highlighting of a word-part, a suffix (eine Nachsilbe). In English, to be sure, this suffix, when spoken, is indistinguishable from a word: what distinguishes it from a word is not audible, but only legible: a hyphen, marking a separation that is also a joining, a 'Bindestrich' that does not bind it to anything in particular and yet that requires it to be bound to something else. The suffix in question thus sounds deceptively familiar, since it coincides, audibly, with the word "abilities". However, unlike that word, its first letter - which purely by accident happens to be the first letter of the alphabet--is preceded by a dash. When written in isolation, this gives it a somewhat bizarre appearance, to be sure, since suffixes are not usually encountered separately from the words they modify. But this bizarre appearance pales when compared to its German 'original'. If the book of essays to be published in English under the title, "Benjamin’s -abilities," is ever translated into German - "back" into German I was tempted to write, since German here is of course the language in which Benjamin wrote and in which I generally read him - then its title, were it to be entirely faithful to the English, would indeed have to involve the creation of a neologism. For translated back into German, the German title would require its readers to "read, what was never written", namely: "Benjamins -barkeiten" (written, "Bindestrich- b--kleingeschrieben").