The Actuality of Walter Benjamin


ISBN 9789350023174
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ISBN 9789350023174


‘Walter Benjamin is the most important German aesthetician and literary critic of this century’ – SUNDAY TIMES

‘If the killing of Lorca was fascism’s first great crime against literature, Benjamin’s death was undoubtedly its second’ – THE LISTENER

Although it is true that Benjamin’s place in the canon of twentieth-century critical theorists is now established, the boundaries of his work still resist classification and demarcation. His writings, including the best known collection,Illuminations, remain an uneasy but thrilling combination of the actual and the mystical, of Marxism and messianic utopianism.

This collection shows how extraordinarily substantial were the theoretical footholds which Walter Benjamin supplied. The contributors engage with Benjamin on a number of levels, with essays on historical understanding versus historicism, a look at gender and dialectical images, the space of the city, the source of Judaism and the aesthetics of conflict. Also analysed are Benjamin’s artwork, the novel, the anthropology and philosophy of history, ‘fate and character’, the baroque Benjamin the intellectual.


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