The Complete Correspondence, 1928-1940
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The Complete Correspondence, 1928-1940

4.22 (31 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
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Description

The surviving correspondence between Walter Benjamin and Theodor W. Adorno. * This is the first time all of the surviving correspondence between Adorno and Benjamin has appeared in English. * Provides a key to the personalities and projects of these two major intellectual figures. * Offers a compelling insight into the cultural politics of the period, at a time of social and political upheaval. * An invaluable resource for all students of the work of Adorno and especially of Benjamin, extensively annotated and cross-referenced.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 392 pages
  • 160 x 237 x 33mm | 704g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • 0
  • 0745618189
  • 9780745618180

Review quote

"[In this volume] the reader witnesses the hesitant, tension-filled process by which two individuals come together - individuals who could scarcely have approached each other in any other way than through the mediation of this literary form. True, they both repeatedly affirm their desire for personal meetings and face-to-face conversation. But the continued series of postponed and prevented visits (Adorno came to Paris, briefly, only twice) does not simply reflect adverse circumstances; it also bespeaks an unavowed preference for the obliqueness of letter writing. One gets the impression that the constraints of this medium protect the withdrawn Benjamin from the uncertainties and importunities of direct contact, and at the same time grant the austere Adorno greater freedom of critical expression." Jurgen Habermas, Die Zeit "Where Benjamin's cycles reveal the deliberately closed and enigmatic self-defensive nature of his personality, Adorno's letters are among the most remarkable things he himself ever wrote. Those letters document one of the most painful moments in Benjamin's life. Not the least interest of this correspondence is the questionable light in which it throws both of its protagonists: Benjamin for the riddle-like nature of his personality and the withdrawals and strategic or tactical evasions, so often evident here; and Adorno for the often self-important way in which he stages the flights of his own intelligence. The extraordinary and unique qualities of this correspondence stem from the confrontation in stages between two of the most intense and energetic minds of the century" Fredric Jameson, Duke University "These are complex, challenging texts that highlight the intellectual achievements of these two important thinkers. In discussions of such central concepts as the dialectical image, the problem of mediation between socioeconomic formations and cultural products, and especially the interrelation of new media technologies and aesthetics, these letters offer some of the most penetrating cultural theory written this century in any language." Michael Jennings, Princeton Universityshow more

About Walter Benjamin

Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969) and Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) were prominent members of the Frankfurt School, and among the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century in the areas of social theory, philosophy, literary criticism and aesthetics.show more

Table of contents

Abbreviations. The Correspondence 1928-1940. Editor's Afterword by Henri Lonitz. Textual Notes and Source References. Bibliographical Index. Name Index.show more

Rating details

31 ratings
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