With the Sharpened Axe of Reason: Approaches to Walter Benjamin

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Gerhard Fischer
Berg, 1996 - Literary Criticism - 229 pages
2 Reviews
Walter Benjamin holds a unique fascination for students and scholars interested in the question of modernity. The most original thinker of Weimar Germany, Benjamin has become something of a cultural icon and his works are often regarded with awe rather than critical scrutiny. This book offers surprising new insights from a number of perspectives -- sociology, history, women’s studies, literary and cultural studies -- and investigates unexplored areas of Benjamin scholarship to arrive at a critically balanced perception of his work.

There are four main sections:

· a critical re-evaluation of Benjamin’s concepts of history and modernity in light of postmodernist discourses;

· a discussion of aspects of Benjamin’s literary scholarship;

· a re-evaluation of Benjamin’s writings on media and performance theories; and

· an investigation of Benjamin’s peculiar ‘utopianism’ which includes a critical consideration of sexual/gender politics.

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About the author (1996)

Gerhard Fischer is Senior Lecturer and Head of the School of German and Russian Studies, University of New South Wales.

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