Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings (Paperback)
  • Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings (Paperback)
zoom

Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings (Paperback)

(author), (editor), (editor)
£26.95
Paperback 496 Pages
Published: 01/10/2006
  • In stock
  • Free UK delivery

Usually dispatched within 2-3 working days

  • This item has been added to your basket

"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.

Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674022294
Number of pages: 496
Dimensions: 235 x 162 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

The variety of subjects and the grace of a style that shines though even in translation help explain Benjamin's reputation as one of our... shrewdest commentators on literature and culture. - Frank Day, South Caroline Review

Harvard's systematic presentation of the work of German cultural critic Benjamin has proved a revelation...This is another splendid volume. - Publishers Weekly

Readers new to Benjamin will find this a welcome introduction to a challenging but rewarding writer. Those already familiar with his work will be grateful to be reminded, once again, of the wisdom of his maxim, "all the decisive blows are struck left-handed." - Graham McCann, Financial Times

The edition at hand...represents the first serious attempt to present his works with systematic chronology, judicious but inclusive selection, and sensitively accurate translation. The effect is nothing less than electric. - Peter Brier, Macgrill's Literary Annual

The latest volume of Havard's majestic annoted edition [is] exhilarating...You feel smarter just holding this book in your hand. - Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World

Whenever [Benjamin] turned his incisive gaze...the clarity of morning's first light shines forth. - Haim Chertok, Jerusalem Post

A glance at the table of contents...shows us at once Benjamin's provocativeness and his infinite variety. - Marshall Berman, The Nation

There is nothing like Benjamin, and I can hardly imagine a more rewarding book being published this year. - David Wheatley, Irish Times (Dublin)

The final volume in this collection of the German philosopher's writing, this title covers the last three years of Benjamin's life and is masterfully translated, edited, and annotated. Presented here are Benjamin's grandest themes: the arcades of Paris, Baudelaire, the concept of remembrance, and materialist theology. Also included is the third version of Benjamin's most famous essay, "The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility," which was unpublished in the author's lifetime. This essay alone makes the volume indispensable for any scholar of interwar literature, philosophy, or modern European thought. Together with the first three volumes in the set (1996-2002), this is one of the most remarkable editorial achievements in contemporary thought and politics. - M. Uebel, Choice

Walter Benjamin's Selected Writings, Volume 4, 1938-40 brings to a conclusion the magisterial series published by the Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. - Ciaran Carson, The Guardian

First things first: this is a magnificent volume. Translating the work of a gifted translator is undoubtedly a somewhat daunting task...Benjamin’s Selected Writings is probably the most outstanding editorial achievement in modern cultural history and political thought that has been published in the last few years. Especially intellectual and social historians of early-twentieth-century Europe, who have traditionally not always paid much attention to Benjamin because of the latter’s appropriation by literary theory, now have every reason to take Benjamin’s writings more seriously. - Christian J. Emden, H-Net

You may also be interested in...

Books v. Cigarettes
Added to basket
Lost Cat
Added to basket
£8.99
Paperback
Slouching Towards Bethlehem
Added to basket
The Years
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Why I Write
Added to basket
£7.99
Paperback
We Should All Be Feminists
Added to basket
Manifesto
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
Things I Don't Want to Know
Added to basket
A Room of One's Own
Added to basket
London Feeds Itself
Added to basket
Alphabetical Diaries
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
Novelist as a Vocation
Added to basket
£10.99   £9.49
Paperback
A Woman's Story
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Down and Out in Paris and London
Added to basket
A Swim in a Pond in the Rain
Added to basket

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.

env: aptum
branch: