Walter Benjamin

German literary critic, philosopher and social critic (1892-1940)

1892   -   1940

movement: Marxism
country of citizenship: Germany, German Empire
educated at: Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, University of Bern
occupation: philosopher, writer, translator, essayist, literary critic, sociologist, art critic
influenced by: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Charles Baudelaire, Karl Marx, György Lukács, Bertolt Brecht

Ebooks: on Wikisource

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 by law 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 Task of the Translator" (1923), "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" (1936), 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 invading Nazi forces. Though popular acclaim eluded him during his life, the decades following his death won his work posthumous renown.
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Berlin Childhood around 1900

Книга Вальтера Беньямина

author: Walter Benjamin


Theses on the Philosophy of History

book by Walter Benjamin

author: Walter Benjamin


Arcades Project

book by Walter Benjamin

author: Walter Benjamin


L'âge de la traduction

book by Walter Benjamin

author: Walter Benjamin


Capitalism as Religion

1921 fragment written by Walter Benjamin

author: Walter Benjamin


The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

1935 essay by Walter Benjamin; proposes that mechanical reproduction devalues the aura of an artwork, that—in the age of mechanical reproduction and traditional ritualistic value’s absence—art production would be inherently based on political praxis

author: Walter Benjamin


Die Kaktushecke

short story by Walter Benjamin

author: Walter Benjamin


Paris, capital of the nineteenth century

œuvre littéraire de Walter Benjamin (1939)

author: Walter Benjamin


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