Walter Benjamin

Walter Benjamin, 1892–1940, German essayist and critic. He is known for his synthesis of eccentric Marxist theory and Jewish messianism. In particular, his essays on Charles Baudelaire and Franz Kafka as well as his speculation on symbolism, allegory, and the function of art in a mechanical age have profoundly affected contemporary criticism. Benjamin was influenced by his close friendship with the historian of Jewish mysticism Gershom Gerhard Scholem. In 1933, he moved to France because of the rise of the Nazis. When the Nazis invaded France, he fled to Spain, was denied entry, and committed suicide.

Bibliography

See collections of his essays ed. by H. Arendt (1968, 1978); his Moscow Diary (1986); The Correspondence of Walter Benjamin, 1910–1940 (1966, tr. 1994), ed. by Manfred R. and Evelyn M. Jacobson; G. Scholem, Walter Benjamin: The Story of a Friendship (tr. 1981); biography by H. Eiland and M. W. Jennings (2014); studies by R. Wolin (1982), S. Handelman (1991), and B. Witte (1991).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Messianic Reduction: Walter Benjamin and the Shape of Time
Peter Fenves.
Stanford University Press, 2011
A Weak Messianic Power: Figures of a Time to Come in Benjamin, Derrida, and Celan
Michael G. Levine.
Fordham University Press, 2014
Constellation: Friedrich Nietzsche and Walter Benjamin in the Now-Time of History
James McFarland.
Fordham University Press, 2013
Modern Criticism and Theory: A Reader
David Lodge; Nigel Wood.
Pearson, 2000 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "Walter Benjamin"
The Deepening of Apperception: On Walter Benjamin's Theory of Film
Gasche, Rodolphe.
Mosaic (Winnipeg), Vol. 41, No. 4, December 2008
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Gardening in the Age of Electronic (Re)production: Walter Benjamin and the Work of Teaching
Langhorst, Barbara.
Mosaic (Winnipeg), Vol. 38, No. 4, December 2005
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
"And G-D Said": Language, Translation, and Scripture in Two Works by Walter Benjamin
Smerick, Christina M.
Shofar, Vol. 27, No. 2, Winter 2009
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Remembering Walter Benjamin: Benjamin and His Biographers
Greenberg, Udi E.
Biography, Vol. 30, No. 2, Spring 2007
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Walter Benjamin's Myth of the Flaneur
Lauster, Martina.
The Modern Language Review, Vol. 102, No. 1, January 2007
Walter Benjamin, Religion, and Aesthetics: Rethinking Religion through the Arts
S. Brent Plate.
Routledge, 2004
Walter Benjamin and the Demands of History
Michael P. Steinberg.
Cornell University Press, 1996
Walter Benjamin: The Colour of Experience
Howard Caygill.
Routledge, 1998
Body - and Image - Space: Re-Reading Walter Benjamin
Georgina Paul; Rachel McNicholl; Jeremy Gaines; Sigrid Weigel.
Routledge, 1996
Walter Benjamin and the Aesthetics of Power
L. T. Koepnick.
University of Nebraska Press, 1999
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