Walter Benjamin: selected writings. 1931-1934. Vol. 2. Pt. 2

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Harvard University Press, 2005 - Criticism - 480 pages
3 Reviews

In the frenzied final years of the Weimar Republic, amid economic collapse and mounting political catastrophe, Walter Benjamin emerged as the most original practicing literary critic and public intellectual in the German-speaking world. Volume 2 of the Selected Writings is now available in paperback in two parts.

In Part 1, Benjamin is represented by two of his greatest literary essays, "Surrealism" and "On the Image of Proust," as well as by a long article on Goethe and a generous selection of his wide-ranging commentary for Weimar Germany's newspapers.

Part 2 contains, in addition to the important longer essays, "Franz Kafka," "Karl Kraus," and "The Author as Producer," the extended autobiographical meditation "A Berlin Chronicle," and extended discussions of the history of photography and the social situation of the French writer, previously untranslated shorter pieces on such subjects as language and memory, theological criticism and literary history, astrology and the newspaper, and on such influential figures as Paul Valery, Stefan George, Hitler, and Mickey Mouse.

 

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

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

Review: Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 3: 1935-1938

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Currently re-reading "The Work of Art in the Age of its Reproducibility" Read full review

Contents

THE DESTRUCTIVE CHARACTER 1931
413
Theological Criticism
428
Literary History and the Study of Literature
459
Unpacking My Library
486
Diary from August 7 1931 to the Day of My Death
501
Paul Valery
531
Mickey Mouse
545
In Almost Every Example We Have of Materialist Literary History
547
The Rigorous Study of Art
666
The Eve of Departure
680
Doctrine of the Similar
694
Agesilaus Santander First Version
712
Antitheses Concerning Word and Name
717
Experience and Poverty
731
The Present Social Situation of the French Writer
744
The Author as Producer
768

The Railway Disaster at the Firth of Tay
563
Excavation and Memory
576
Berlin Chronicle
595
Spain 1932
638
Light from Obscurantists
653
Notes from Svendborg Summer 1934
783
A Note on the Texts
821
Index
857
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

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

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

Gary Smith is an editor at work on the Einstein Papers project.

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