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Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 2: Part 2: 1931-1934 / Edition 1

Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 2: Part 2: 1931-1934 / Edition 1


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In the frenzied final years of the Weimar Republic, amid economic collapse and mounting political catastrophe, Walter Benjamin emerged as the most original practicing literary critic and public intellectual in the German-speaking world. Volume 2 of the Selected Writings is now available in paperback in two parts.

In Part 1, Benjamin is represented by two of his greatest literary essays, "Surrealism" and "On the Image of Proust," as well as by a long article on Goethe and a generous selection of his wide-ranging commentary for Weimar Germany's newspapers.

Part 2 contains, in addition to the important longer essays, "Franz Kafka," "Karl Kraus," and "The Author as Producer," the extended autobiographical meditation "A Berlin Chronicle," and extended discussions of the history of photography and the social situation of the French writer, previously untranslated shorter pieces on such subjects as language and memory, theological criticism and literary history, astrology and the newspaper, and on such influential figures as Paul Valery, Stefan George, Hitler, and Mickey Mouse.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674017467
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 06/15/2005
Series: Walter Benjamin , #2
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 723,502
Product dimensions: 6.38(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.94(d)

About the Author

Walter Benjamin (1892–1940) was the author of many works of literary and cultural analysis.

Michael W. Jennings is Class of 1900 Professor of Modern Languages at Princeton University.

Howard Eiland is an editor and translator of Benjamin’s writings.

Gary Smith is an editor at work on the Einstein Papers project.

Table of Contents

The Destructive Character, 1931

In Parallel with My Actual Diary

Criticism as the Fundamental Discipline of Literary History

Critique of the New Objectivity

We Ought to Reexamine the Link between Teaching and Research

Hofmannsthal and Aleco Dossena

Left-Wing Melancholy

Theological Criticism

Karl Kraus

Literary History and the Study of Literature

German Letters

May-June 1931

Unpacking My Library

Franz Kafka: Beim Bau der Chinesischen Mauer

Diary from August 7, 1931, to the Day of My Death

Little History of Photography

Paul Valéry

The Lisbon Earthquake

The Destructive Character

Reflections on Radio

Mickey Mouse

In Almost Every Example We Have of Materialist Literary History

The Task of the Critic

Ibizan Sequence, 1932


On Ships, Mine Shafts, and Crucifixes in Bottles

On the Trail of Old Letters

A Family Drama in the Epic Theater

The Railway Disaster at the Firth of Tay

Privileged Thinking

Excavation and Memory

Oedipus, or Rational Myth

On Proverbs

Theater and Radio

Ibizan Sequence

A Berlin Chronicle

Spain, 1932

Light from Obscurantists

The Handkerchief

In the Sun

The Rigorous Study of Art

Hashish in Marseilles

The Eve of Departure

On Astrology

"Try to Ensure that Everything in Life Has a Consequence"

Notes (IV)

Thought Figures, 1933

The Lamp

Doctrine of the Similar

Short Shadows (II)


Stefan George in Retrospect

Agesilaus Santander (First Version)

Agesilaus Santander (Second Version)

Antitheses Concerning Word and Name

On the Mimetic Faculty

Thought Figures

Little Tricks of the Trade

Experience and Poverty

The Author's Producer, 1934

Once Is as Good as Never

The Newspaper

Venal but Unusable

The Present Social Situation of the French Writer

The Author as Producer

Notes from Svendborg, Summer 1934

Hitler's Diminished Masculinity

Franz Kafka

A Note on the Texts

Chronology, 1927-1934


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