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The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility, and Other Writings on Mediaby Walter Benjamin
Synopses & Reviews
Benjamin’s famous "Work of Art" essay sets out his boldest thoughts (on media and on culture in general) in their most realized form, while retaining an edge that gets under the skin of everyone who reads it. In this essay the visual arts of the machine age morph into literature and theory and then back again to images, gestures, and thought.
This essay, however, is only the beginning of a vast collection of writings that the editors have assembled to demonstrate what was revolutionary about Benjamin’s explorations on media. Long before Marshall McLuhan, Benjamin saw that the way a bullet rips into its victim is exactly the way a movie or pop song lodges in the soul.
This book contains the second, and most daring, of the four versions of the "Work of Art" essay; the one that addresses the utopian developments of the modern media. The collection tracks Benjamin’s observations on the media as they are revealed in essays on the production and reception of art; on film, radio, and photography; and on the modern transformations of literature and painting. The volume contains some of Benjamin’s best-known work alongside fascinating, little-known essays, some appearing for the first time in English. In the context of his passionate engagement with questions of aesthetics, the scope of Benjamin’s media theory can be fully appreciated.
Benjamin's famous "Work of Art" essay sets out his boldest thoughts--on media and on culture in general. This book contains the second, and most daring, of the four versions of the "Work of Art" essay--the one that addresses the utopian developments of the modern media. The collection tracks Benjamin's observations on the media as they are revealed in essays on the production and reception of art; on film, radio, and photography; and on the modern transformations of literature and painting.
Walter Benjaminandrsquo;s 1931 essay andldquo;A Short History of Photographyandrdquo; is a landmark in the understanding and criticism of the medium, offering surprising new takes on such photographic pioneers as David Octavius Hill and Nicandeacute;phore Niandeacute;pce and their aesthetic and technical achievements.
On Photography presents a new translation of that essay along with a number of other writings by Benjamin, some of them presented in English for the first time. Translator and editor Esther Leslie sets Benjaminandrsquo;s work in context with prefaces to each piece and contributes a substantial introduction that considers Benjaminandrsquo;s engagement with photography in all its forms, including early commercial studio photography, the uses of photography in science, and much more.and#160;
About the Author
Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) was the author of many works of literary and cultural analysis.Michael W. Jennings is Class of 1900 Professor of Modern Languages at Princeton University.?Brigid Doherty is Associate Professor of German and of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University.Thomas Y. Levin is Associate Professor of German at Princeton University.
Table of Contents
I. The Production, Reproduction, and Reception of the Work of Art
II. Script, Image, Script-Image
III. Painting and Graphics
VI. The Publishing Industry and Radio
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