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Selected Writings Volume 4 1938 40

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Selected Writings Volume 4 1938 40 Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Every line we succeed in publishing today...is a victory wrested from the powers of darkness." So wrote Walter Benjamin in January 1940. Not long afterward, he himself would fall prey to those powers, a victim of suicide following a failed attempt to flee the Nazis. However insistently the idea of catastrophe hangs over Benjamin's writings in the final years of his life, the "victories wrested" in this period nonetheless constitute some of the most remarkable twentieth-century analyses of the emergence of modern society. The essays on Charles Baudelaire are the distillation of a lifetime of thinking about the nature of modernity. They record the crisis of meaning experienced by a civilization sliding into the abyss, even as they testify to Benjamin's own faith in the written word.

This volume ranges from studies of Baudelaire, Brecht, and the historian Carl Jochmann to appraisals of photography, film, and poetry. At their core is the question of how art can survive and thrive in a tumultuous time. Here we see Benjamin laying out an ethic for the critic and artist--a subdued but resilient heroism. At the same time, he was setting forth a sociohistorical account of how art adapts in an age of violence and repression.

Working at the height of his powers to the very end, Benjamin refined his theory of the mass media that culminated in the final version of his essay "The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility." Also included in this volume is his influential piece "On the Concept of History," completed just before his death. The book is remarkable for its inquiry into the nature of "the modern" (especially as revealed in Baudelaire), for its ideas about the transmogrification of art and the radical discontinuities of history, and for its examples of humane life and thought in the midst of barbarism. The entire collection is eloquent testimony to the indomitable spirit of humanity under siege.

Synopsis:

This volume ranges from studies of Baudelaire, Brecht, and the historian Carl Jochmann to appraisals of photography, film, and poetry. At their core is the question of how art adapts to survive and thrive in an age of violence and repression. The book is remarkable for its inquiry into the nature of "the modern," for its ideas about the transmogrification of art and the radical discontinuities of history, and for its examples of humane life and thought in the midst of barbarism.

About the Author

Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) was the author of many works of literary and cultural analysis.Howard Eiland teaches literature at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Michael W. Jennings is Class of 1900 Professor of Modern Languages at Princeton University.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Table of Contents

FRUITS OF EXILE, 1938 (PART 2)

1. The Paris of the Second Empire in Baudelaire

2. Blanqui

3. The Study Begins with Some Reflections on the Influence of Les Fleurs du mal

4. Exchange with Theodor W. Adorno on "The Paris of the Second Empire in Baudelaire"

5. Review of Renéville's Expérience poétique

6. Review of Freund's Photographie en France au dix-neuvième siècle

7. Reviw of Francesco's Macht des Charlatans

8. A chronicle of Germany's Unemployed

9. A Novel of German Jews

THEORY OF REMEMBRANCE, 1939

1. Review of Hönigswald's Philosophie und Sprache

2. Review of Sternberger's Panorama

3. Review of Béguin's Ame romantique et le rêve

4. Note on Brecht

5. Central Park

6. Exchange with Theodor W. Adorno on "The Flâneur" Section of "The Paris of the Second Empire in Baudelaire"

7. Commentary on Poems by Brecht

8. The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility: Third Version

9. Germans of 1789

10. What is the Epic Theater? (II)

MATERIALIST THEOLOGY, 1940

1. On Some Motifs in Baudelaire

2. "The Regression of Poetry," by Carl Gustav Jochmann

3. Curriculum Vitae (VI): Dr. Walter Benjamin

4. On Scheerbart

5. On the Concept of History

6. Paralipomena to "On the Concept of History"

7. Letter to Theodor W. Adorno on Baudelaire, Goerge and Hofmannsthal

A Note on the Texts

Chronology

List of writings in Volumes 1-4

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674010765
Editor:
Eiland, Howard
Editor:
Jennings, Michael William
Editor:
Eiland, Howard
Editor:
Jennings, Michael William
Author:
Eiland, Howard
Author:
Benjamin, Walter
Author:
Jennings, Michael W.
Editor:
Jennings, Michael W.
Publisher:
Belknap Press
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Aesthetics
Subject:
European - German
Subject:
Anthologies-Essays
Subject:
ART / Criticism & Theory
Subject:
Literary Criticism-Semiotics & Theory
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Volume 4
Series Volume:
04
Publication Date:
May 2003
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
4 halftones
Pages:
496
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 29 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Humanities » Philosophy » Aesthetics
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » General

Selected Writings Volume 4 1938 40 New Hardcover
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Product details 496 pages Belknap Press - English 9780674010765 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This volume ranges from studies of Baudelaire, Brecht, and the historian Carl Jochmann to appraisals of photography, film, and poetry. At their core is the question of how art adapts to survive and thrive in an age of violence and repression. The book is remarkable for its inquiry into the nature of "the modern," for its ideas about the transmogrification of art and the radical discontinuities of history, and for its examples of humane life and thought in the midst of barbarism.
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