Gesammelte Schriften

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Harvard University Press, 1999 - Literary Criticism - 870 pages
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In the frenzied final years of the Weimar Republic, amid economic collapse and mourning political catastrophe, Walter Benjamin emerged as the most original practicing literary critic and public intellectual in the German-speaking world. Volume 2 of Selected Writings, covering the years 1927 to 1934, displays the full spectrum of Benjamin's achievements at this pivotal stage in his career.

Previously concerned chiefly with literary theory, Benjamin during these Years does pioneering work in new areas, from the stud of popular Culture (a discipline he virtually created) to theories of the media and the visual arts. His writings on the theory of modernity-most of them new to readers of English--develop ideas as important to an understanding of the twentieth century as an contained in his widely anthologiied essay "The Work of Art in the Age of Technological Reproducibility.

This volume brings together previously untranslated writings on major figures such as Brecht, Valéry and Gide, and on subjects ranging from film, radio, and the novel to memory, kitsch, and the theory of language. We find the manifoldly inquisitive Benjamin musing on the new modes of perception opened tip by techniques of photographic enlargement and cinematic montage, on the life and work of & Goethe at Weimar, on the fascination of old toys and the mysteries of food, and on the allegorical significance of Mickey Mouse.

 

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Selected writings

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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

Contents

Dream Kitsch
3
Reply to Oscar A H Schmitz
16
Review of Gladkovs Cement
47
Diary of My Journey to the Loire
62
IMAGE IMPERATIVES 1928
77
Conversation with Andre Gide
91
Moonlit Nights on the Rue La Boetie
107
Everything Is Thought
122
MysloviceBraunschweigMarseilles
386
A Critique of the Publishing Industry
394
Characterization of the New Generation
401
Antitheses
409
Criticism as the Fundamental Discipline of Literary History
415
Hofmannsthal and Aleco Dossena
421
Literary History and the Study of Literature
459
Unpacking My Library
486

Food Fair
137
The Fireside Saga
151
Karl Kraus Fragment
194
Surrealism
207
Chaplin in Retrospect
222
On the Image of Proust
237
Childrens Literature
250
Short Shadows I
268
Some Remarks on Folk Art
278
Notes II
285
Notes on a Theory of Gambling
297
An Outsider Makes His Mark
305
Theories of German Fascism
312
Demonic Berlin
322
Julien Green
331
Paris Diary
337
Review of Kracauers Die Angestellten
355
Bert Brecht
365
The First Form of Criticism That Refuses to Judge
372
Against a Masterpiece
378
Diary from August 7 1931 to the Day of My Death
501
Paul Valery
531
Mickey Mouse
545
A Family Drama in the Epic Theater
559
Excavation and Memory
576
Berlin Chronicle
595
Spain 1932
638
Light from Obscurantists
653
In the Sun
662
The Eve of Departure
680
Doctrine of the Similar
694
Agesilaus Santander First Version
712
Little Tricks of the Trade
728
The Newspaper
741
The Author as Producer
768
Notes from Svendborg Summer 1934
783
A Note on the Texts
821
Index
857
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About the author (1999)

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

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

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