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Illuminations by Walter Benjamin
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Illuminations (1969)

by Walter Benjamin

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Recommended by Kay Ryan.
Amazon: Walter Benjamin was one of the most original cultural critics of the twentieth century. Illuminations includes his views on Kafka, with whom he felt a close personal affinity; his studies on Baudelaire and Proust; and his essays on Leskov and on Brecht's Epic Theater. Also included are his penetrating study "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," an enlightening discussion of translation as a literary mode, and Benjamin's theses on the philosophy of history.

Hannah Arendt selected the essays for this volume and introduces them with a classic essay about Benjamin's life in dark times. Also included is a new preface by Leon Wieseltier that explores Benjamin's continued relevance for our times." ( )
  clifforddham | Oct 20, 2015 |
Walter Benjamin is awesome, and any difficulties I had following the work, I ascribe to the translation and to my ignorance about some of the subjects (especially Baudelaire and Proust). He's wonderfully aphoristic, able to quickly sketch little metaphors that both illuminate and dramatize what he's talking about. He can be amazingly captivating, and absolutely rewards your attention. Very quotable, too! ( )
1 vote gregorybrown | Oct 18, 2015 |
I suspected some of my trouble this time around was the fault of a horrible translation--the Benjamin I'd read elsewhere was dense but not opaque. Now readers' comments are confirming it. Still, it couldn't mangle all his insight; it's scattered through these essays; he's the only critic I know who could cross the mined landscape between mysticism and materialism and make you believe literature is the high wire that connects the two. ( )
2 vote CSRodgers | May 3, 2014 |
I knew I had arrived when I read Benjamin. ( )
  KidSisyphus | Apr 5, 2013 |
Just about everything I know I learned from the Theses on the Philosophy of History. The other things that I've learned relate to the essay. ( )
2 vote sherief | Apr 26, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (49 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Walter Benjaminprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anthony, RobertCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Arendt, HannahEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wieseltier, LeonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zohn, HarryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805202412, Paperback)

Walter Benjamin was one of the most original cultural critics of the twentieth century. Illuminations includes his views on Kafka, with whom he felt a close personal affinity; his studies on Baudelaire and Proust; and his essays on Leskov and on Brecht's Epic Theater. Also included are his penetrating study "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," an enlightening discussion of translation as a literary mode, and Benjamin's theses on the philosophy of history.

Hannah Arendt selected the essays for this volume and introduces them with a classic essay about Benjamin's life in dark times. Also included is a new preface by Leon Wieseltier that explores Benjamin's continued relevance for our times.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:56 -0400)

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