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Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) has emerged as one of the leading cultural critics of the twentieth century. His work encompasses aesthetics, metaphysical language and narrative theories, German literary history, philosophies of history, the intersection of Marxism and Messianic thought, urban topography, and the development of photography and film. Benjamin defined the task of the critic as one that blasts endangered moments of the past out of the continuum of history so that they attain new significance. This volume of new essays employs this principle of actualization as its methodological program in offering a new advanced introduction to Benjamin's own work. The essays analyze Benjamin's central texts, themes, terminologies, and genres in their original contexts while simultaneously situating them in new parameters, such as contemporary media, memory culture, constructions of gender, postcoloniality, and theories of urban topographies. The Companion brings together an international group of established and emerging scholars to explicate Benjamin's actuality from a multidisciplinary perspective. Designed for audiences interested in literary criticism, cultural studies, and neighboring disciplines, the volume serves as a stimulus for new debates about Benjamin's intellectual legacy today.

Contributors: Wolfgang Bock, Willi Bolle, Dianne Chisholm, Adrian Daub, Dominik Finkelde, Eric Jarosinski, Lutz Koepnick, Vivian Liska, Karl Ivan Solibakke, Marc de Wilde, Bernd Witte

Rolf J. Goebel is Distinguished Professor of German and Chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781571139696
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
Publication date: 08/01/2016
Series: Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture Series , #2535
Pages: 328
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.74(d)

About the Author

Professor of German at University of Alabama, Huntsville

Table of Contents

Benjamin's Criticism of Language and Literature - Wolfgang Bock
The Presence of the Baroque: Benjamin's Ursprung des deutschen Trauerspiels in Contemporary Contexts - Dominik Finkelde
Lost Orders of the Day: Benjamin's Einbahnstraße - Wolfgang Bock
Literature as the Medium of Collective Memory: Reading Benjamin's Einbahnstraße, "Der Erzähler," and "Das Paris des Second Empire bei Baudelaire" - Bernd Witte
Benjamin in the Age of New Media - Lutz Koepnick
One Little Rule: On Benjamin, Autobiography, and Never Using the Word "I" - Eric Jarosinski
The Passagen-Werk Revisited: The Dialectics of Fragmentation and Reconfiguration in Urban Modernity - Karl Ivan Solibakke
Benjamin's Politics of Remembrance: A Reading of the Theses Contained in "Über den Begriff der Geschichte" - Marc de Wilde
The Legacy of Benjamin's Messianism: Giorgio Agamben and other Contenders - Vivian Liska
Paris on the Amazon?: Postcolonial Interrogations of Benjamin's European Modernism - Willi Bolle
Benjamin's Gender, Sex, and Eros - Dianne Chisholm
Sonic Dreamworlds: Benjamin, Adorno, and the Phantasmagoria of the Opera House - Adrian Daub

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