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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... if not a mystical thinker who may have been tempted, against the grain of his
sensibilities, to superimpose the terms of Marxist discourse upon his
metaphysical vision of God, language, and a society ontologi- cally in need of
Benjamin's problem, which he shares with other Marxists, is to link the individual
fact or institution with the overall development of economic history (the prime
mover). Behind, or, rather, "in," the elegant shopping arcades, Benjamin sees as
His studies of Sorel and his defense of anarchist spontaneity (as suggested in his
essay on violence) against any Marxist "programming" of action reveal something
in him that precedes all political theory and perhaps has its origins in a mystic ...
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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