Walter Benjamin: Overpowering Conformism

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Pluto Press, May 20, 2000 - Literary Criticism - 298 pages
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Esther Leslie’s path-breaking study of Walter Benjamin is unlike any other book presently available in English on Benjamin, in seeking to make a case for a more politicised reading of Benjamin’s oeuvre. In looking at the entirety of Benjamin’s work - rather than the four or five essays available in English which tend to form the Benjamin ‘canon’ - Leslie offers powerful new insights into a key twentieth-century political thinker, correcting the post-structuralist bias that has characterised so much Benjamin scholarship, and repositioning Benjamin’s work in its historical and political context. In her examination of Benjamin’s commentary on the politics and aesthetics of technology - from Benjamin’s work on nineteenth-century industrial culture to his analyses of the Nazi deployment of the bomber - Esther Leslie recontextualises Benjamin’s writings in a lucid and cogently argued new study.
 

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Contents

Benjamins Objectives
42
Berlin Chthonic Photos and Trains and Films and Cars
63
Technik and Mirroring
89
Murmurs from Darkest Europe
123
Time for an Unnatural Death
168
Excavating and Remembering
208
Notes
236
Bibliography
276
Index
292
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About the author (2000)

Stephen Nugent is the head of the Anthropology Department at Goldsmiths College, University of London, a song writer (with Ian Dury) and the author (with Humphrey Ocean) of Big Mouth: The Amazon Speaks (Fourth Estate, 1990). Cris Shore is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Auckland (New Zealand). His most recent publications are: Up Close and Personal: On Peripheral Perspectives and the Production of Anthropological Knowledge', Oxford/New York: Berghahn (co-edited with Susanna Trnka, 2013) and 'The Sage Handbook of Social Anthropology'.

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