Walter Benjamin

By Howard Eiland, Michael W. Jennings,

Book cover of Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life

Book description

Walter Benjamin is one of the twentieth century's most important intellectuals, and also one of its most elusive. His writings-mosaics incorporating philosophy, literary criticism, Marxist analysis, and a syncretistic theology-defy simple categorization. And his mobile, often improvised existence has proven irresistible to mythologizers. His writing career moved from the brilliant…

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1 author picked Walter Benjamin as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This remarkable biography has been hugely important to me in the understanding of the great German writer and critic Walter Benjamin. His essays, particularly on the 19th century Arcades, were the basis of my study, "A Human Comedy, Physiognomy and Caricature in 19th century Paris". Eiland and Jennings biography, based on enormous research, introduce us to this complex and enigmatic character and his brilliant criticism.

They provide a revealing portrait of his brief life in the shadow of European catastrophe. Their consummate understanding of Benjamin’s complex layered work gives new insight into this highly influential thinker. A scholarly…

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