The Arcades Project

The Arcades Project

5.0 1
by Walter Benjamin
     
 

ISBN-10: 067404326X

ISBN-13: 9780674043268

Pub. Date: 12/28/1999

Publisher: Harvard University Press

"To great writers," Walter Benjamin once wrote, "finished works weigh lighter than those fragments on which they labor their entire lives." Conceived in Paris in 1927 and still in progress when Benjamin fled the Occupation in 1940, The Arcades Project (in German, Das Passagen-Werk) is a monumental ruin, meticulously constructed over the course of thirteen

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Overview

"To great writers," Walter Benjamin once wrote, "finished works weigh lighter than those fragments on which they labor their entire lives." Conceived in Paris in 1927 and still in progress when Benjamin fled the Occupation in 1940, The Arcades Project (in German, Das Passagen-Werk) is a monumental ruin, meticulously constructed over the course of thirteen years--"the theater," as

Benjamin called it, "of all my struggles and all my ideas." Focusing on the arcades of nineteenth-century Paris-glass-roofed rows of shops that were early centers of consumerism--Benjamin presents a montage of quotations from, and reflections on, hundreds of published sources, arranging them in thirty-six categories with descriptive rubrics such as "Fashion," "Boredom," "Dream City," "Photography," "Catacombs," "Advertising," "Prostitution," "Baudelaire," and "Theory of Progress." His central preoccupation is what he calls the commodification of things--a process in which he locates the decisive shift to the modern age.

The Arcades Project is Benjamin's effort to represent and to critique the bourgeois experience of nineteenth-century history, and, in so doing, to liberate the suppressed "true history" that underlay the ideological mask. In the bustling, cluttered arcades, street and interior merge and historical time is broken up into kaleidoscopic distractions and displays of ephemera. Here, at a distance from what is normally meant by "progress," Benjamin finds the lost time(s) embedded in the spaces of things.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674043268
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
12/28/1999
Pages:
1088
Product dimensions:
6.86(w) x 10.26(h) x 2.13(d)

Table of Contents

Translators' Foreword
Exposés
"Paris, the Capital of the Nineteenth Century" (1935)
"Paris, Capital of the Nineteenth Century" (1939)
Convolutes
Overview
First Sketches
Early Drafts
"Arcades"
"The Arcades of Paris"
"The Ring of Saturn"
Addenda
Exposé of 1935, Early Version
Materials for the Exposé of 1935
Materials for "Arcades"
"Dialectics at a Standstill," by Rolf Tiedemann
"The Story of Old Benjamin," by Lisa Fittko
Translators' Notes
Guide to Names and Terms
Index

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The Arcades Project 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago