Walter Benjamin holds a unique fascination for students and scholars interested in the question of modernity. The most original thinker of Weimar Germany, Benjamin has become something of a cultural icon and his works are often regarded with awe rather than critical scrutiny. This book offers surprising new insights from a number of perspectives -- sociology, history, women's studies, literary and cultural studies -- and investigates unexplored areas of Benjamin scholarship to arrive at a critically balanced perception of his work. There are four main sections:* a critical re-evaluation of Benjamin's concepts of history and modernity in light of postmodernist discourses;* a discussion of aspects of Benjamin's literary scholarship; * a re-evaluation of Benjamin's writings on media and performance theories; and * an investigation of Benjamin's peculiar 'utopianism' which includes a critical consideration of sexual/gender politics.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC