Reflections: essays, aphorisms, autobiographical writing
A companion volume to Illuminations, the first collection of Walter Benjamin's writings, Reflections presents a further sampling of his wide-ranging work. Here Benjamin evolves a theory of language as the medium of all creation, discusses theater and surrealism, reminisces about Berlin in the 1920s, recalls conversations with Bertolt Brecht, and provides travelogues of various cities, including Moscow under Stalin. He moves seamlessly from literary criticism to autobiography to philosophical-theological speculations, cementing his reputation as one of the greatest and most versatile writers of the twentieth century. Also included is a new preface by Leon Wieseltier that explores Benjamin's continued relevance for our times.
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With almost boyish charm, Brecht admits (against his theories) that an artist
should have the privilege of playing games; he has witty things to say about
Kafka's Prague milieu, and he does not avoid ideological simplification when he
My Kafka essay, for example — he was concerned with Kafka merely from the
phenomenal point of view — took the work as something that had grown by itself
— □ the man, too — severed all its connections, even that with its author.
Kafka's perspective: that of the man who has gone to the dogs. Odradek is
characteristic of this: Brecht interprets the janitor as representing the cares of the
father of a family. Things must go wrong for the petit bourgeois. His situation is
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We can remark in passing that there is no better starting point for thought than laughter. In particular, thought usually has a better chance when one is shaken by laughter than when one’s mind is ... Vollständige Rezension lesen
A Berlin Chronicle
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Reflections: Essays, Aphorisms, Autobiographical Writings
Eingeschränkte Leseprobe - 2019