The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
About the book
One of the most important works of cultural theory ever written, Walter Benjamin's groundbreaking essay explores how the age of mass media means audiences can listen to or see a work of art repeatedly - and what the troubling social and political implications of this are. Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.
Walter Benjamin Biography
Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin (; German: [ˈvaltɐ ˈbɛnjamiːn]; 15 July 1892 – 26 September 1940) was a German Jewish philosopher, cultural critic and essayist. An eclectic thinker, combining elements of German idealism, Romanticism, Western Marxism, and Jewish mysticism, Benjamin made enduring and influential contributions to aesthetic theory, literary criticism, and historical materialism. He was associated with the Frankfurt School, and also maintained formative friendships with thinkers such as playwright Bertolt Brecht and Kabbalah scholar Gershom Scholem. He was also related to German political theorist and philosopher Hannah Arendt through her first marriage to Benjamin's cousin Günther Anders. Among Benjamin's best known works are the essays "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" (1935), and "Theses on the Philosophy of History" (1940). His major work as a literary critic included essays on Baudelaire, Goethe, Kafka, Kraus, Leskov, Proust, Walser, and translation theory. He also made major translations into German of the Tableaux Parisiens section of Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal and parts of Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu. In 1940, at the age of 48, Benjamin committed suicide at Portbou on the French–Spanish border while attempting to escape from the invading Wehrmacht. Though popular acclaim eluded him during his life, the decades following his death won his work posthumous renown.
Early life and educationWalter Benjamin and his younger siblings, Georg (1895–1942) and Dora (1901–1946), were born to a wealthy business family of assimilated Ashkenazi Jews in the Berlin of the German Empire (1871–1918). Walter's father, Emil Benjamin, was a banker in Paris who had relocated from France to Germany, where he worked as an antiques trader in Berlin; he later married Pauline Schönflies. He owned a number of investments in Berlin, including ice skating rinks. Walter's uncle, William Stern (born Wilhelm Louis Stern; 1871-1938), was a prominent German child psychologist who developed the concept of the intelligence quotient (IQ). He also had a cousin, Günther Anders (born Günther Siegmund Stern; 1902-1992), a German philosopher and anti-nuclear activist who studied under Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger. Through his mother, Walter's great-uncle was the classical archaeologist Gustav Hirschfeld.In 1902, ten-year-old Walter was enrolled to the Kaiser Friedrich School in Charlottenburg; he completed his secondary school studies ten years later. In his youth, Walter was of fragile health and so in 1905 the family sent him to Hermann-Lietz-Schule Haubinda, a boarding school in the Thuringian countryside, for two years; in 1907, having returned to Berlin, he resumed his schooling at the Kaiser Friedrich School.In 1912, at the age of 20, he enrolled at the University of Freiburg, but at summer semester's end he returned to Berlin and matriculated at the University of Berlin to continue study ... Read full biography
|Authors:||Walter Benjamin J.A. Underwood|
|Publisher:||Penguin Books Ltd|
|Languages:||| English ||
|Publication date:||Sept. 23, 2008|
|First Publication Date:||None|
|Publication City/Country:||London, United Kingdom|