New Release Books by Walter Benjamin

Walter Benjamin is the author of Radio Benjamin (2021), Toward the Critique of Violence (2021), Aesthetics and Politics (2020), The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (2021) and other 171 books.

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Radio Benjamin

release date: Dec 07, 2021
Radio Benjamin
Walter Benjamin was fascinated by the impact of new technology on culture, an interest that extended beyond his renowned critical essays. From 1927 to ’33, he wrote and presented something in the region of eighty broadcasts using the new medium of radio. Radio Benjamin gathers the surviving transcripts, which appear here for the first time in English. This eclectic collection demonstrates the range of Benjamin’s thinking and his enthusiasm for popular sensibilities. His celebrated “Enlightenment for Children” youth programs, his plays, readings, book reviews, and fiction reveal Benjamin in a creative, rather than critical, mode. They flesh out ideas elucidated in his essays, some of which are also represented here, where they cover topics as varied as getting a raise and the history of natural disasters, subjects chosen for broad appeal and examined with passion and acuity. Delightful and incisive, this is Walter Benjamin channeling his sophisticated thinking to a wide audience, allowing us to benefit from a new voice for one of the twentieth century’s most respected thinkers.

Toward the Critique of Violence

release date: Jun 22, 2021
Toward the Critique of Violence
Marking the centenary of Walter Benjamin''s immensely influential essay, "Toward the Critique of Violence," this critical edition presents readers with an altogether new, fully annotated translation of a work that is widely recognized as a classic of modern political theory. The volume includes twenty-one notes and fragments by Benjamin along with passages from all of the contemporaneous texts to which his essay refers. Readers thus encounter for the first time in English provocative arguments about law and violence advanced by Hermann Cohen, Kurt Hiller, Erich Unger, and Emil Lederer. A new translation of selections from Georges Sorel''s Reflections on Violence further illuminates Benjamin''s critical program. The volume also includes, for the first time in any language, a bibliography Benjamin drafted for the expansion of the essay and the development of a corresponding philosophy of law. An extensive introduction and afterword provide additional context. With its challenging argument concerning violence, law, and justice—which addresses such topical matters as police violence, the death penalty, and the ambiguous force of religion—Benjamin''s work is as important today as it was upon its publication in Weimar Germany a century ago.

Aesthetics and Politics

release date: Oct 13, 2020
Aesthetics and Politics
No other country and no other period has produced a tradition of major aesthetic debate to compare with that which unfolded in German culture from the 1930s to the 1950s. In Aesthetics and Politics the key texts of the great Marxist controversies over literature and art during these years are assembled in a single volume. They do not form a disparate collection but a continuous, interlinked debate between thinkers who have become giants of twentieth-century intellectual history.

The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

release date: Jun 13, 2021
The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
An attempt by literary critic Walter Benjamin to analyze the changed experience of art in modern society.

The Storyteller Essays

release date: Jul 23, 2019
The Storyteller Essays
A new translation of philosopher Walter Benjamin''s work as it pertains to his famous essay, "The Storyteller," this collection includes short stories, book reviews, parables, and as a selection of writings by other authors who had an influence on Benjamin''s work. “The Storyteller” is one of Walter Benjamin’s most important essays, a beautiful and suggestive meditation on the relation between narrative form, social life, and individual existence—and the product of at least a decade’s work. What might be called the story of The Storyteller Essays starts in 1926, with a piece Benjamin wrote about the German romantic Johann Peter Hebel. It continues in a series of short essays, book reviews, short stories, parables, and even radio shows for children. This collection brings them all together to give readers a new appreciation of how Benjamin’s thinking changed and ripened over time, while including several key readings of his own—texts by his contemporaries Ernst Bloch and Georg Lukács; by Paul Valéry; and by Herodotus and Montaigne. Finally, to bring things around, there are three short stories by “the incomparable Hebel” with whom the whole intellectual adventure began.

Charles Baudelaire

release date: Aug 22, 2023
Charles Baudelaire
A classic account of late nineteenth-century Paris and a study of Baudelaire''s life and work Walter Benjamin, one of the foremost cultural commentators and theorists of this century, is perhaps best known for his analyses of the work of art in the modern age and the philosophy of history. Yet it was through his study of the social and cultural history of the late nineteenth-century Paris, examined particularly in relation to the figure of the great Parisian lyric poet Charles Baudelaire, that Benjamin tested and enriched some of his core concepts and themes. Contained within these pages are, amongst other insights, his notion of the flaneur, his theory of memory and remembrance, his assessment of the utopian Fourier and his reading of the modernist movement.

The Correspondence of Walter Benjamin, 1910-1940

release date: Apr 05, 2019
The Correspondence of Walter Benjamin, 1910-1940
Called “the most important critic of his time” by Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin has only become more influential over the years, as his work has assumed a crucial place in current debates over the interactions of art, culture, and meaning. A “natural and extraordinary talent for letter writing was one of the most captivating facets of his nature,” writes Gershom Scholem in his Foreword to this volume; and Benjamin''s correspondence reveals the evolution of some of his most powerful ideas, while also offering an intimate picture of Benjamin himself and the times in which he lived. Writing at length to Scholem and Theodor Adorno, and exchanging letters with Rainer Maria Rilke, Hannah Arendt, Max Brod, and Bertolt Brecht, Benjamin elaborates on his ideas about metaphor and language. He reflects on literary figures from Kafka to Karl Kraus, and expounds his personal attitudes toward such subjects as Marxism and French national character. Providing an indispensable tool for any scholar wrestling with Benjamin’s work, The Correspondence of Walter Benjamin, 1910–1940 is a revelatory look at the man behind much of the twentieth century’s most significant criticism.

Reflections

release date: Feb 26, 2019
Reflections
“This book is just that: reflections of a highly polished mind that uncannily approximate the century’s fragments of shattered traditions.” — Time A companion volume to Illuminations, the first collection of Walter Benjamin’s writings, Reflections presents a further sampling of his wide-ranging work. Here Benjamin evolves a theory of language as the medium of all creation, discusses theater and surrealism, reminisces about Berlin in the 1920s, recalls conversations with Bertolt Brecht, and provides travelogues of various cities, including Moscow under Stalin. Benjamin moves seamlessly from literary criticism to autobiography to philosophical-theological speculations, cementing his reputation as one of the greatest and most versatile writers of the twentieth century.

Origin of the German Trauerspiel

release date: Feb 04, 2019
Origin of the German Trauerspiel
Focusing on the 17th-century play of mourning, Walter Benjamin identifies allegory as the constitutive trope of modernity, bespeaking a haunted, bedeviled world of mutability and eternal transience. In this rigorous elegant translation, history as trauerspiel is the condition as well as subject of modern allegory in its inscription of the abyssal.

Illuminations

release date: Jan 01, 2019
Illuminations
Views from one of the most original cultural critics of the twentieth century, Walter Benjamin

One-Way Street

release date: May 02, 2016
One-Way Street
Presented in a new edition with expanded notes, this genre-defying meditation on the semiotics of late-1920s Weimar culture, composed of 60 short prose pieces that vary wildly in style and theme, offers a fresh opportunity to encounter Walter Benjamin at his most virtuosic and experimental, writing in a vein that anticipates later masterpieces.

On Photography

release date: Oct 15, 2015
On Photography
Walter Benjamin’s 1931 essay “A Short History of Photography” is a landmark in the understanding and criticism of the medium, offering surprising new takes on such photographic pioneers as David Octavius Hill and Nicéphore Niépce and their aesthetic and technical achievements. On Photography presents a new translation of that essay along with a number of other writings by Benjamin, some of them presented in English for the first time. Translator and editor Esther Leslie sets Benjamin’s work in context with prefaces to each piece and contributes a substantial introduction that considers Benjamin’s engagement with photography in all its forms, including early commercial studio photography, the uses of photography in science, and much more.

Walter Benjamin's Archive

release date: Sep 15, 2015
Walter Benjamin's Archive
An absorbing selection of Walter Benjamin’s personal manuscripts, images, and documents The work of the great literary and cultural critic Walter Benjamin is an audacious plotting of history, art, and thought; a reservoir of texts, commentaries, scraps, and fragments of everyday life, art, and dreams. Throughout his life, Benjamin gathered together all kinds of artifacts, assortments of images, texts, and signs, themselves representing experiences, ideas, and hopes, each of which was enthusiastically logged, systematized, and analyzed by their author. In this way, Benjamin laid the groundwork for the salvaging of his own legacy. Intricate and intimate, Walter Benjamin’s Archive leads readers to the heart of his intellectual world, yielding a rich and detailed portrait of its author.

The Utilization of Wood Waste by Distillation; A General Consideration of the Industry of Wood Distilling, Including a Description of the Apparatus Used and the Principles Involved, Also Methods of Chemical Control and Disposal of the Products

release date: Oct 29, 2018
The Utilization of Wood Waste by Distillation; A General Consideration of the Industry of Wood Distilling, Including a Description of the Apparatus Used and the Principles Involved, Also Methods of Chemical Control and Disposal of the Products
This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. To ensure a quality reading experience, this work has been proofread and republished using a format that seamlessly blends the original graphical elements with text in an easy-to-read typeface. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant.

The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction: An Influential Essay of Cultural Criticism; The History and Theory of Art (Hardcover)

release date: Aug 24, 2018
The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction: An Influential Essay of Cultural Criticism; The History and Theory of Art (Hardcover)
Walter Benjamin discusses whether art is diminished by the modern culture of mass replication, arriving at the conclusion that the aura or soul of an artwork is indeed removed by duplication. In an essay critical of modern fashion and manufacture, Benjamin decries how new technology affects art. The notion of fine arts is threatened by an absence of scarcity; an affair which diminishes the authenticity and essence of the artist''s work. Though the process of art replication dates to classical antiquity, only the modern era allows for a mass quantity of prints or mass production. Given that the unique aura of an artist''s work, and the reaction it provokes in those who see it, is diminished, Benjamin posits that artwork is much more political in significance. The style of modern propaganda, of the use of art for the purpose of generating raw emotion or arousing belief, is likely to become more prevalent versus the old-fashioned production of simpler beauty or meaning in a cultural or religious context.

The Complete Correspondence 1928 - 1940

release date: Mar 14, 2018
The Complete Correspondence 1928 - 1940
The surviving correspondence between Walter Benjamin and Theodor W. Adorno. This is the first time all of the surviving correspondence between Adorno and Benjamin has appeared in English. Provides a key to the personalities and projects of these two major intellectual figures. Offers a compelling insight into the cultural politics of the period, at a time of social and political upheaval. An invaluable resource for all students of the work of Adorno and especially of Benjamin, extensively annotated and cross-referenced.

Benjamin's -abilities

release date: Jun 30, 2009
Benjamin's -abilities
In this book, Weber, a leading theorist on literature and media, reveals a new and productive aspect of Benjamin''s thought by focusing the critical suffix "-ability" that Benjamin so tellingly deploys in his work. The result is an illuminating perspective on Benjamin''s thought by way of his language - and one of the most penetrating and comprehensive accounts of Benjamin''s work ever written.

On the Concept of History

release date: Aug 21, 2016
On the Concept of History
On The Concept of History is a politics & social sciences essay written by German philosopher and social science critic Walter Benjamin. On The Concept of History is one of Walter Benjamin''s best known, and most controversial works. The politics & social sciences essay is composed of twenty numbered paragraphs in which Benjamin uses poetic and scientific analogies to present a critique of historicism. Walter Benjamin wrote the brief essay shortly before attempting to escape from Vichy France, where French collaborationist government officials were handing over Jewish refugees like Walter Benjamin to the Nazi Gestapo. Walter Benjamin completed On The Concept of History before fleeing to Spain where he unfortunately committed suicide. Benjamin''s work is often required textbook reading in various subjects such as humanities, philosophy, and politics & social sciences.

The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility, and Other Writings on Media

release date: May 31, 2008
The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility, and Other Writings on Media
A series of influential essays on the visual arts that were made possible by machines, and the implications for the future of culture.

Berlin Childhood Around 1900

release date: Jan 01, 2006
Berlin Childhood Around 1900
Not an autobiography in the customary sense, Benjamin''s recollection of his childhood in an upper-middle-class Jewish home in Berlin''s West End at the turn of the century is translated into English for the first time in book form.

On Hashish

release date: Jan 01, 2006
On Hashish
On Hashish'' is Walter Benjamin''s posthumous collection of writings, providing a unique and intimate portrait of the man himself, of his experiences of hashish, and also of his views on the Weimar Republic.

The Writer of Modern Life

release date: Jan 01, 2006
The Writer of Modern Life
"In this book Benjamin reveals Baudelaire as a social poet of the very first rank. More than a series of studies of Baudelaire, these essays show the extent to which Benjamin identifies with the poet and enable him to explore his own notion of heroism."--BOOK JACKET.

Selected Writings

release date: Jan 01, 2005
Selected Writings
Comprising more than 65 pieces - journal articles, reviews, extended essays, sketches, aphorisms, and fragments - this volume shows the range of Walter Benjamin''s writing. His topics here include poetry, fiction, drama, history, religion, love, violence, morality and mythology.

Berlin Childhood Circa 1900

release date: Oct 27, 2015
Berlin Childhood Circa 1900
This book of new research and commentary by Carl Skoggard brings philosopher Walter Benjamin''s engaging autobiographical text into a new translation that is faithful to Benjamin''s voice. Berlin Childhood circa 1900, Skoggard writes, "conjures Benjamin''s earliest years in a series of mysterious tableaux. But it also reflects an urgent moment in his adult life—one that posed challenges to everything he had thought and felt previously." Our Jank Edition is illustrated with thirty black & white photographs and includes a foldable, color map of Berlin, circa 1900, offset-printed by Container Corps, Portland, Ore.

The Cambridge Companion to Walter Benjamin

release date: Mar 25, 2004
The Cambridge Companion to Walter Benjamin
This Companion offers a comprehensive introduction to the thought of the highly influential twentieth-century critic and theorist Walter Benjamin. The volume provides examinations of the different aspects of Benjamin''s work that have had a significant effect on contemporary critical and historical thought. Topics discussed by experts in the field include Benjamin''s relation to the avant-garde movements of his time, his theories on language and mimesis, modernity, his significance and relevance to modern cultural studies, and his autobiographical writings. Additional material includes a guide to further reading and a chronology.
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