Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 4: 1938-1940

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9780674022294: Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 4: 1938-1940

"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.

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About the Author:

Walter Benjamin (1892–1940) was the author of many works of literary and cultural analysis.

Howard Eiland teaches literature at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Michael W. Jennings is Class of 1900 Professor of Modern Languages at Princeton University.

Review:

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 2003-12-01)

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 2003-12-06)

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 2007-07-01)

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Descrizione libro HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2006. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. 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. The entire collection is eloquent testimony to the indomitable spirit of humanity under siege. Codice libro della libreria AAU9780674022294

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Walter Benjamin
Editore: HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States (2006)
ISBN 10: 0674022297 ISBN 13: 9780674022294
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Descrizione libro HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, United States, 2006. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. 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. The entire collection is eloquent testimony to the indomitable spirit of humanity under siege. Codice libro della libreria AAU9780674022294

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Walter Benjamin (author), Howard Eiland (editor), Michael W Jennings (editor)
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Descrizione libro Harvard University Press, 2006. Condizione libro: New. 2006. 1St Edition. Paperback. However insistently the idea of catastrophe hangs over Benjamin's writings in the final years of his life, the "victories wrested" in this period constitute some of the most remarkable 20th century analyses of the emergence of modern society. This volume ranges from studies of Baudelaire and Brecht to appraisals of photography, film, and poetry. Editor(s): Eiland, Howard; Jennings, Michael W. Num Pages: 496 pages, 4 halftones. BIC Classification: 2ACG; DNF; DSBH. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational. Dimension: 235 x 162 x 25. Weight in Grams: 648. . . . . . . Codice libro della libreria V9780674022294

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Descrizione libro Harvard University Press. Condizione libro: New. 2006. 1St Edition. Paperback. However insistently the idea of catastrophe hangs over Benjamin's writings in the final years of his life, the "victories wrested" in this period constitute some of the most remarkable 20th century analyses of the emergence of modern society. This volume ranges from studies of Baudelaire and Brecht to appraisals of photography, film, and poetry. Editor(s): Eiland, Howard; Jennings, Michael W. Num Pages: 496 pages, 4 halftones. BIC Classification: 2ACG; DNF; DSBH. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational. Dimension: 235 x 162 x 25. Weight in Grams: 648. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Codice libro della libreria V9780674022294

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