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Illuminations by Walter Benjamin

Illuminations (1969)

by Walter Benjamin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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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 |
Just brilliant except for the Kafka business. ( )
  ontoursecretly | Jan 10, 2011 |
The bit about the angel of history is one of my favorite passages anywhere. A chilling epitaph for the first half of the 20th Century, and one of the enduring images for me of that maelstrom of modernism and destruction and acceleration. Lots of other great stuff in here too, but I can't remember much except some interesting thoughts on translation and trenchant criticism on Kafka. Oh, and of course the famous Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, but I can't say that left much of a mark on me on first reading. This is definitely a book I'll dip back into repeatedly in the future. ( )
  jddunn | Nov 22, 2010 |
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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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