Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 2: Part 1: 1927-1930

Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 2: Part 1: 1927-1930

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By (author) Walter Benjamin, Series edited by Michael W. Jennings, Series edited by Howard Eiland, Series edited by Gary Smith

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  • Publisher: The Belknap Press
  • Format: Paperback | 480 pages
  • Dimensions: 162mm x 235mm x 24mm | 686g
  • Publication date: 15 June 2005
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge, Mass.
  • ISBN 10: 0674015886
  • ISBN 13: 9780674015883
  • Sales rank: 117,339

Product description

In the frenzied final years of the Weimar Republic, amid economic collapse and mounting political catastrophe, Walter Benjamin emerged as the most original practicing literary critic and public intellectual in the German-speaking world. Volume 2 of the Selected Writings is now available in paperback in two parts. In Part 1, Benjamin is represented by two of his greatest literary essays, "Surrealism" and "On the Image of Proust," as well as by a long article on Goethe and a generous selection of his wide-ranging commentary for Weimar Germany's newspapers. Part 2 contains, in addition to the important longer essays, "Franz Kafka," "Karl Kraus," and "The Author as Producer," the extended autobiographical meditation "A Berlin Chronicle," and extended discussions of the history of photography and the social situation of the French writer, previously untranslated shorter pieces on such subjects as language and memory, theological criticism and literary history, astrology and the newspaper, and on such influential figures as Paul Valery, Stefan George, Hitler, and Mickey Mouse.

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Author information

Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) was the author of many works of literary and cultural analysis. Michael W. Jennings is Professor of German, Princeton University. Howard Eiland teaches literature at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Gary Smith is an editor at work on the Einstein Papers project.

Review quote

[Praise for the one-volume hardcover edition] For those who know only the small selection of essays and longer texts previously translated into English, this book may be a revelation. Selected Writings: Volume 2 spanning the period from his abandonment of academia and his emergence as an important literary journalist in 1927 to his near silencing after the Nazis seized power and his exile in 1934, shows the writer at his sparkling best. -- Paul Mattick New York Times Book Review [Praise for the one-volume hardcover edition] The period from 1927 to 1934 spanned in this volume was for Walter Benjamin both grievous and fertile...The range of topics and perspectives is immense. It extends from considerations on kitsch and pornography to repeated encounters, personal or indirect, with Gide, Kierkegaard and surrealism. The cultural history of toys fascinates Benjamin as he records his own Berlin childhood. Insights into 'Left-Wing Melancholy' alternate with thoughts on Mickey Mouse, on Chaplin, and on graphology. -- George Steiner The Observer

Table of contents

Moscow, 1927 Dream Kitsch The Political Groupings of Russian Writers On the Present Situation of Russian Film Reply to Oscar A. H. Schmitz Introductory Remarks on a Series for L'Humanite Moscow Review of Gladkov's Cement Journalism Gottfried Keller Diary of my Journey to the Loire Review of Soupault's le Coeur d'or The Idea of a Mystery Review of Hessel's Heimliches Berlin A State Monopoly on Pornography Image Imperatives, 1928 Curriculum Vitae (III) Andre Gide and Germany Main Features of My Second Impression of Hashish Conversation with Andre Gide Old Toys Hugo von Hofmannsthal's der Turm Moonlit Nights on the rue la Boetie Karl Kraus Reads Offenbach The Cultural History of Toys Toys and Play Everything is Thought Books by the Mentally Ill Review of the Mendelssohns' der Mensch in der Handschrift Food Fair Paris as Goddess The Path to Success, in Thirteen Theses Weimar The Fireside Saga News about Flowers Review of Green's Adrienne Mesurat Goethe Karl Kraus (Fragment) The Return of the Flaneur, 1929 Chaplin Program for a Proletarian Children's Theater Surrealism Chaplin in Retrospect Chambermaids' Romances of the Past Century Marseilles On the Image of Proust The Great Art of Making Things Seem Closer Together Milieu Theoreticians Children's Literature Robert Walser The Return of the Flaneur Short Shadows (I) A Communist Pedagogy Notes on a Conversation with Bela Balasz Some Remarks on Folk Art Tip for Patrons Crisis and Critique, 1930 Notes (II) Notes (III) Program for Literary Criticism Notes on a Theory of Gambling The Crisis of the Novel An Outsider Makes His Mark Theories of German Fascism Demonic Berlin Hashish, Beginning of March 1930 Julien Green Paris Diary Review of Kracauer's die Angestellten Food Bert Brecht The First Form of Criticism that Refuses to Judge From the Brecht Commentary Against a Masterpiece Myslovice--Braunschweig--Marseilles A Critique of the Publishing Industry Graphology Old and New Characterization of the New Generation The Need to Take the Mediating Character of Bourgeois Writing Seriously False Criticism Antitheses A Note on the Texts Chronology, 1927-1934 Index