The Correspondence of Walter Benjamin, 1910-1940

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University of Chicago Press, Jul 31, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 674 pages
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Called “the most important critic of his time” by Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin has only become more influential over the years, as his work has assumed a crucial place in current debates over the interactions of art, culture, and meaning. A “natural and extraordinary talent for letter writing was one of the most captivating facets of his nature,” writes Gershom Scholem in his Foreword to this volume; and Benjamin's correspondence reveals the evolution of some of his most powerful ideas, while also offering an intimate picture of Benjamin himself and the times in which he lived. Writing at length to Scholem and Theodor Adorno, and exchanging letters with Rainer Maria Rilke, Hannah Arendt, Max Brod, and Bertolt Brecht, Benjamin elaborates on his ideas about metaphor and language. He reflects on literary figures from Kafka to Karl Kraus, and expounds his personal attitudes toward such subjects as Marxism and French national character. Providing an indispensable tool for any scholar wrestling with Benjamin’s work, The Correspondence of Walter Benjamin, 1910–1940 is a revelatory look at the man behind much of the twentieth century’s most significant criticism.

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Demanding yet eloquent and immensely rewarding personal documents of one of the century's leading literary and aesthetic critics. It's the grimmest of ironies that one of the earliest letters here ... Read full review

The correspondence of Walter Benjamin, 1910-1940

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Drawing on sources as disparate as Jewish mysticism and Marxism, Benjamin (1892- 1940) created one of the 20th century's most distinguished bodies of literary and cultural criticism. While much of his ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Walter Benjamin (1892–1940) was a German philosopher, writer, and literary critic.

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