Gesammelte Schriften

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Harvard University Press, 2002 - Philosophy - 462 pages
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Radical critic of a European civilization plunging into darkness, yet commemorator of the humane traditions of the old bourgeoisie--such was Walter Benjamin in the later 1930s. This volume, the third in a four-volume set, offers twenty-seven brilliant pieces, nineteen of which have never before been translated.

The centerpiece, A Berlin Childhood around 1900, marks the first appearance in English of one of the greatest German works of the twentieth century: a profound and beautiful account of the vanished world of Benjamin's privileged boyhood, recollected in exile. No less remarkable are the previously untranslated second version of Benjamin's most famous essay, "The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility," with its striking insights into the relations between technology and aesthetics, and German Men and Women, a book in which Benjamin collects twenty-six letters by distinguished Germans from 1783 to 1883 in an effort to preserve what he called the true humanity of German tradition from the debasement of fascism.

Volume 3 also offers extensively annotated translations of essays that are key to Benjamin's rewriting of the story of modernism and modernity--such as "The Storyteller" and "Paris, the Capital of the Nineteenth Century"--as well as a fascinating diary from 1938 and penetrating studies of Bertolt Brecht, Franz Kafka, and Eduard Fuchs. A narrative chronology details Benjamin's life during these four harrowing years of his exile in France and Denmark. This is an essential collection for anyone interested in his work.

  

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Selected writings

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Benjamin (1892-1940) was the last German Jewish intellectual. His great critical work encompasses three metaphysical themes: how things and people move from strangeness to become part of oneself; how ... Read full review

Review: Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 2, Part 1, 1927-1930

User Review  - Beatrice McDonald - Goodreads

A vital book. For the essay 'Goethe's Elective Affinities' I will be eternally grateful. Read full review

Contents

Brechts Threepenny Novel
3
Johann Jakob Bachofen
11
Recollections of CarnivalTime in Nice
25
Paris the Capital of the Nineteenth Century
32
Exchange with Theodor W Adorno on the Essay Paris the Capital of the Nineteenth Century
50
An Overview
68
The Formula in Which the Dialectical Structure of Film Finds Expression
94
Rastellis Story
96
Translation For and Against
249
The Knowledge That the First Material on Which the Mimetic Faculty Tested Itself
253
The Threepenny Opera
257
Eduard Fuchs Collector and Historian
260
TheologicalPolitical Fragment
305
A German Institute for Independent Research
307
Review of Brods Franz Kafka
317
Letter to Gershom Scholem on Franz Kafka
322

Second Version
101
A Different Utopian Will
134
The Significance of Beautiful Semblance
137
The Signatures of the Age
139
Theory of Distraction
141
Observations on the Works of Nikolai Leskov
143
A Sequence of Letters
167
Painting and Photography
236
The Premiere of Eight OneAct Plays by Brecht
330
Diary Entries 1938
335
Berlin Childhood around 1900
344
A Note on the Texts
415
Chronology 19351938
417
Index
449
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) was the author of many works of literary and cultural analysis.

Michael W. Jennings is Professor of German, Princeton University.

Howard Eiland teaches literature at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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