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Other titles in the Weimar and Now: German Cultural Criticism series:
Walter Benjamin's Other Historyby Beatrice Hanssen
Synopses & Reviews
"Hanssens exacting, expansive study of the ways Benjamin reconceives history and nature in one anothers presence, or distance, is part of the increasing recognition of what it must take intellectually and imaginatively to come to terms with this thinkers soaring innovations."—Stanley Cavell, Harvard University
"In this profoundly learned book Hanssen interprets Benjamin's The Origin of German Tragic Drama as the key to understanding his entire corpus. . . . Many books about Benjamin are impenetrable. This one is not." —S. Gittleman, Choice
"Beatrice Hanssen has provided an arresting new reading of Benjamin, based on a wide range of materials and a subtle understanding of theoretical issues, both in his time and our own. Her interpretation is informed by contemporary deconstructionist approaches to the fundamental questions raised by Benjamins texts, which she demonstrates anticipate many of the concerns of Derrida, Levinas and other recent thinkers."—Martin Jay, University of California, Berkeley
"Beatrice Hanssen elaborates Benjamin's extremely novel and complex notion of 'history' with unparalleled thoroughness, cogency, and clarity."—Samuel Weber, University of California, Los Angeles
A study of the early work of Walter Benjamin, especially his famous book on German tragic drama and notions of history. Hanssen reads his texts in relation to a broad spectrum of philosophy and literature. The result is an unusually compelling study of Benjamin, arguably the central intellectual figure of our age.
Long considered to be an impenetrable, hermetic treatise, Walter Benjamin's The Origin of German Tragic Drama has rarely received the attention it deserves as a key text, central to a full understanding of his work. In this critically acclaimed study, distinguished Benjamin scholar Beatrice Hanssen unlocks the philosophical and ethical dimensions of his thought with great clarity and sophisitication.
About the Author
Beatrice Hanssen was trained in Comparative Literature at Johns Hopkins University and is Associate Professor of German at Harvard University. She is the author of Critique of Violence: Between Poststructuralism and Critical Theory, an editor of The Turn to Ethics, and co-editor of the series Walter Benjamin Studies.
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