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Topic: Walter Benjamin


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  Walter Benjamin - German Philosopher - Biography
Benjamin kept a rather secretive existence, and the materials left behind are fragmentary, leaving scholars, translators and historians to argue over the nature of his thoughts and texts.
Benjamin's legacy was primarily in the hands of Theodor Adorno and Gershon Scholem, who managed to revive interest in his work after the war.
The gradual preference of technical media by the mass public signifies for Benjamin both a radical shift in the arts to the political in the Marxist sense, although this shift in the status of art to the political also allows aesthetic contemplation to become dissociated from the properly lived experience of the autonomous individual.
www.egs.edu /resources/benjamin.html   (1135 words)

  
 Walter Benjamin Biography | Encyclopedia of World Biography
Walter Benjamin (1892-1940), a German philosopher and critic, published widely on such topics as technology, language, literature, the arts, and society.
Walter Benjamin was born into an affluent Jewish family in Berlin, Germany on July 15, 1892, the son of an art dealer.
Benjamin is best known in the United States for his literary and cultural criticism, though his political, philosophical, and religious essays have been studied in greater detail by European commentators.
www.bookrags.com /biography/walter-benjamin   (1154 words)

  
 surrealism
Benjamin wrote his essay on Surrealism during 1928, when the Surrealist movement was still in what André Breton called its transition from an "intuitive" to a "reasoning" phase.
Benjamin development took a divergent path from that of Surrealism, but he never lost touch with his original sympathy for the shared impulses behind their ideas.
Thus Benjamin constructs a myth of dispossession, in which photography is the medium which preserves utopia: the one-that-never-was for the sake of the-one-that-might-be.
courses.nus.edu.sg /course/ellpatke/Benjamin/benjamin_surrealism.htm   (2782 words)

  
 Bolz & Van Reijen: Walter Benjamin
Benjamin can lay claim to being the most significant cultural theorist of the twentieth century and as a consequence a great deal of material (from the lightweight and superficial to the heavyweight and recondite) has been published about him.
Adorno referred to these features of Benjamin's thought as 'anthropological materialism', by which we may take him to mean that Benjamin's Marxism allied to his penchant for naturalistic depiction of the collective social body was rather like driving with one foot on the accelerator and one foot on the brake.
What draws Benjamin to Kafka is that he sees his works as a success in spite of fatalistic, philosophic obstacles; he sees in Kafka's stories that although they are the epitome of a loss of communication, nevertheless, without resort to the politicization of art, they hint at the possibility of a qualitatively different society.
www.socresonline.org.uk /2/1/erben.html   (650 words)

  
 Walter Benjamin
Benjamin challenges orthodox Marxism, with the notion that the individual participant in the bourgeoisie can come to a full awareness of his of his part in the current disintegration of man, by the structure of his method, and by questioning the deterministic element of Marxism.
Benjamin’s method is a combination of an artful use of literary tools, empirical observation, and "transcendent" experience.
Benjamin illustrates historical materialism through comparing the imagery of ancient man demonstrating his regard for nature by pouring out libation, with modern man’s use of technology to strip nature of "her" products prematurely.
filer.case.edu /~ngb2/Authors/Benjamin.html   (454 words)

  
 Internationale Walter Benjamin Gesellschaft
Benjamin majors in philosophy at the Universities of Freiburg im Breisgau, Munich and Berlin, his minor subjects are German literature and psychology; he is also an active participant in the republican-oriented student organization “Freie Studentenschaft”.
Benjamin attends the University of Frankfurt during the summer semester, in order to lay the groundwork for his Habilitation in the history of modern German literature.
Benjamin dies on September 26, 1940 in Port Bou (Spain), most probably as the result of a self-induced overdose of morphine.
www.iwbg.uni-duesseldorf.de /Walter_Benjamin_English   (708 words)

  
 Walter Benjamin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-31)
Walter Benjamin (July 15, 1892 – September 27, 1940) was a German Marxist literary critic, essayist, translator, and philosopher.
Benjamin focused on epistemology, theory of language, allegory, and the philosophy of history.
Benjamin probably committed suicide in Port-Bou at the Spanish-French border, attempting to escape from the Nazis.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Walter_Benjamin   (1627 words)

  
 Illuminations: Bronner
Walter Benjamin, "Aussicht ins Kinderbuch," in Angelus Novus, pg.
Benjamin knew that mystical experience is many-layered and it was precisely this many-layererdness that played so great a role in his thinking." (Scholem, "Walter Benjamin and His Angel," pg.
Benjamin's actual political commitments are rarely discussed and when they are, even in the otherwise superb study by Susan Buck-Morss, an uncritical stance incapable of relating them to his metaphysics is generally the norm.
www.uta.edu /english/dab/illuminations/bron3.html   (5061 words)

  
 Harvard Divinity Bulletin - Michael D. Jackson - In the Footsteps of Walter Benjamin   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-31)
Walter Benjamin was born in Berlin in 1892, and reborn 21 years later in Paris.
Benjamin was interned first at Nevers, where empty chateaux, vacant factories, and farms had been converted into camps de concentration for ressortissants ("enemy aliens"), including ressortissants allemands (those "coming from Germany"), and then at Vernuche, where 300 prisoners were crammed into a disused furniture factory.
Benjamin's famous Theses on the Philosophy of History were written during this winter of 1939-40—reflections, he noted in a letter to Gretel Adorno, that were part of his "methodological preparation" for the sequel to the Baudelaire book, and not intended for publication.
www.hds.harvard.edu /news/bulletin_mag/articles/34-2_jackson.html   (5955 words)

  
 Walter Benjamin   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-31)
Benjamin's influence has grown steadily since his essays became available in English, and a recent flood of books about him and his writings -- including the charming but thin Momme Brodersen biography from Verso -- testifies to his continued importance.
The vogue for Benjamin in academic and artistic circles is based almost entirely on his later work, which he produced as a Marxist (albeit a rather idiosyncratic one).
Benjamin's hope of remaking the world in a moment may be the dream, but remaking it across many moments is our necessity.
www.bostonphoenix.com /alt1/archive/books/reviews/02-97/BENJAMIN.html   (1243 words)

  
 | Walter Benjamin for Historians | The American Historical Review, 106.5 | The History Cooperative
Benjamin studied the arcades and other products of the nineteenth century not in the traditional Marxist relation of base and superstructure, in which culture is a reflection of the economy, but in a context that insisted that culture is the economy's expression.
Benjamin argued that what emerged from the identification of "modern mythologies" was a "profane illumination," which served as a materialist, anthropologically inspired way to overcome and surpass the other sort of illumination—religious illumination.
Benjamin's notions of a history guided by the image as its key concept are suggestive for historians today, whose thinking is shaped by the transformations in temporality and historical method shaped in the shadow of film and newer digital forms.
www.historycooperative.org /journals/ahr/106.5/ah0501001721.html   (10916 words)

  
 Amazon.ca: Illuminations: Books: Walter Benjamin   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-31)
Walter Benjamin is recognized as one of the most acute analysts of literary and sociological phenomenon of the 19th and 20th centuries.
It's mistaken to think of Benjamin's various intellectual leanings as discrete ideologies or outright contradictions; instead, to borrow from Wittgenstein, consider his ideas to be different members of a family that resemble one another and are clearly related but live different lives in different contexts.
Benjamin doesn't peel away layers of an onion to arrive at a single shining insight; he presents a simple idea, expands on it a little, and lets you put on the layers of complexity yourself.
www.amazon.ca /Illuminations-Walter-Benjamin/dp/0805202412   (1645 words)

  
 Walter Benjamin's Grave by Michael Taussig, an excerpt   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-31)
Benjamin says something similar where he cautions that truth is not a matter of exposure that destroys the secret but a revelation that does justice to it.
Even when poverty-stricken, as Benjamin was from the early 1930s, they may have lived in cheap hotels and depended on cafés for food and drink, aloof from the exigencies of domestic labor if not from many of the practicalities of everyday life.
Benjamin’s love of modernism, and in particular of montage, allegory, and fragmentation, all would seem to strongly predispose one to “adaptability,” meaning coping with new and strange circumstances.
www.press.uchicago.edu /Misc/Chicago/790045.html   (4168 words)

  
 John Mage, "An Homage to Walter Benjamin: Arcades, Barricades and Public Sex"
The exiled German philosopher Walter Benjamin, 48 years old, portly and with a heart condition, joined a hiking tour group in Banyuls-sur-Mer on the French side of the Pyrenees on September 24, 1940.
On the Port Bou register of deaths, it is recorded that Walter Benjamin died at 10 PM on September 26, 1940.
Benjamin presents a quotation from F.F.A. Béraud, Les Filles publiques de Paris (1839), connecting the sudden absence of streetwalkers in the Palais-Royal and the attractions of the new arcades, mentioning in particular the Passage des Panoramas.
mrzine.monthlyreview.org /mage270905.html   (1915 words)

  
 HUJ - Department of German - Walter Benjamin Chair   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-31)
The seminars taught by the Walter Benjamin Professor are open for all students of the Humanities at the Hebrew University.
The Walter Benjamin Professor is part of the research group 'Theology and Aesthetic', established at the German Department in coordination with the Franz Rosenzweig Research Centre for German-Jewish literature and cultural history.
The teaching and research work of the Walter Benjamin Professor is supplemented by activities either in organizing international conferences in the referred fields or in contributing to such conferences.
www.hum.huji.ac.il /German/benjamin/benjamin.htm   (571 words)

  
 Amazon.com: Illuminations: Books: Walter Benjamin   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-31)
Walter Benjamin, who was first to place the wise but ugly dwarf (Theology) in the beautiful puppet (Historical Materialism) would be amazed (or perhaps not, see the letters between Benjamin and Scholem) to learn that puppet and dwarf are on the verge of switching places!
In 1940 Walter Benjamin committed suicide at the Franco-Spanish border fearing that he would be unable to escape the grasp of Hitler's regime.
She notes the influences of Zionism and Communism (and Marxism) on Benjamin's thought, as well as the broader cultural influence of a quasi-secularized Judaism in a culture where non-baptized Jews were still kept out of university teaching posts.
www.amazon.com /Illuminations-Walter-Benjamin/dp/0805202412   (3313 words)

  
 NYRB Classics: Walter Benjamin
Gershom Scholem (1897-1982) was born in Berlin, educated at the universities of Jena and Bern, and emigrated to Palestine in 1923, where he devoted himself to the study of the Jewish mystical tradition and the Kabbala.
Gershom Scholem is celebrated as the twentieth century's most profound student of the Jewish mystical tradition; Walter Benjamin, as a master thinker whose extraordinary essays mix the revolutionary, the revelatory, and the esoteric.
Walter Benjamin [was] perhaps the most subtle, intuitive, and creative critic of the age.
www.nybooks.com /shop/product?product_id=949   (367 words)

  
 Amazon.de: Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen: Reflections on Sixty and Beyond: English Books: Larry McMurtry   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-31)
In Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen, Larry McMurtry comes the old pardner, and the result is a powerful elegy for the lost spaces in American life.
It touches on some of the serious questions that Walter Benjamin was asking about the role of story in society, but seems to me to be much more fun that a German philosopher could be.
He extols the virtues of everything from a lime Dr. Pepper to rodeo queens, laments the decline of oral storytelling and cowboys, and paints a portrait of a landscape so vast and empty that it hardly seems possible that it could be filled to the brim with the spirit of its inhabitants.
www.amazon.de /Walter-Benjamin-Dairy-Queen-Reflections/dp/0684870193   (2119 words)

  
 Walter Benjamin -- Philosophy Books and Online Resources
Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) is now generally recognized as one of the most original and influential thinkers of this century.
This motto beginning Walter Benjamin's Berlin Childhood Around the Turn of the Century and appearing in a slightly altered form in Berliner Chronik has its origins in Benjamin's experiments with hashish, as Gershom Scholem and the editors of Benjamin's Gesammelte Schriften have noted.
Now that the edition of Benjamin's collected works is completed, the publishing house and the group responsible for it can collectively regard themselves as the writers of Benjamin's history.
www.erraticimpact.com /~20thcentury/html/benjamin.htm   (1099 words)

  
 Critical Theory: Walter Benjamin
It is said that Walter Benjamin, one of the most influential cultural theorists in the Marxist tradition, did not research Karl Marx's writings until the final decade of his tragically abbreviated life.
Benjamin was born in Berlin to a wealthy Jewish family.
His studies at Freiburg, Munich, Berlin, and Berne resulted in a doctorate in 1919, but his dissertation on German tragic drama--a brilliant but unorthodox performance completed when he was thirty-three--was rejected by the University of Frankfurt.
www.bedfordstmartins.com /litlinks/critical/benjamin.htm   (262 words)

  
 The Bard Graduate Center - Digital Showcase:Walter Benjamin's New York
Walter Benjamin is one of the most famous thinkers and writers of the twentieth century.
But he is least famous for what is, arguably, his greatest work, a study of the material remains of nineteenth-century Paris.
We use his early twentieth-century guide to mid nineteenth-century Paris, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, to make sense of the New York of the second half of the twentieth.
www.bgc.bard.edu /academic/projects/pmiller/benjamin.html   (166 words)

  
 Harvard University Press: Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 3, 1935-1938 by Walter Benjamin
Radical critic of a European civilization plunging into darkness, yet commemorator of the humane traditions of the old bourgeoisie--such was Walter Benjamin in the later 1930s.
Volume 3 also offers extensively annotated translations of essays that are key to Benjamin's rewriting of the story of modernism and modernity--such as "The Storyteller" and "Paris, the Capital of the Nineteenth Century"--as well as a fascinating diary from 1938 and penetrating studies of Bertolt Brecht, Franz Kafka, and Eduard Fuchs.
Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) was the author of many works of literary and cultural analysis.
www.hup.harvard.edu /catalog/JENWA3.html   (327 words)

  
 Amazon.co.uk: Illuminations: Books: Walter Benjamin,Hannah Arendt,Harry Zohn   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-31)
This text contains two of Walter Benjamin's essays, "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction", and "Theses on the Philosophy of History", as well as others on the art of translation, Kafka, storytelling, Baudelaire, Brecht's epic theatre, Proust, and book collecting.
Benjamin tries to turn sociology into a classical language and yet not really turning it away.
Walter Benjamin was an extremely influencial, wonderfully insightful writer and philosopher.
www.amazon.co.uk /Illuminations-Walter-Benjamin/dp/0712665757   (581 words)

  
 Benjamin and the City of Light
Benjamin often termed his epic a "dialectical fairytale." Other times it was his "magic encyclopedia." This new, large-format English translation, handsomely finished by the Belknap Press (of Harvard University Press), is a huge brick of a book and must weigh nigh on four pounds.
Little wonder Benjamin claimed The Arcades Project was "the theater of all my struggles and all my ideas." This struggle, and those ideas, aimed to chronicle the whole history of the nineteenth century, over which Paris, majestically, presided, whose arcades symbolized the city's heart laid bare.
Like his former teacher, Benjamin recognized how the metropolis "intensified emotional life" and presented the "continuous shift of external and internal stimuli." The metropolis's brusque tempo, its innumerable interactions and encounters, its dissonance and unexpected upheavals, contrasted markedly with the smoother-flowing rhythm of the small town.
www.thenation.com /doc/20000131/merrifield   (1050 words)

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