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Product Details

  • Paperback: 50 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453722483
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453722480
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Walter Bendix Schonflies Benjamin (1892 - 1940) was a German-Jewish Marxist literary critic, essayist, translator, and philosopher. He was at times associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory and was also greatly inspired by the Marxism of Bertolt Brecht and Jewish mysticism as presented by Gershom Scholem. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Walter Bendix Schonflies Benjamin (1892 -- 1940) was a German-Jewish Marxist literary critic, essayist, translator, and philosopher. He was at times associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory and was also greatly inspired by the Marxism of Bertolt Brecht and Jewish mysticism as presented by Gershom Scholem.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By G. on February 10, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Walter Benjamin's assessment of the nature and the value of art in juxtaposition to an industrial, materialistic, and modernizing world is a must-read for anyone interested in the study of communications media and the arts in society. Without this essay, the work of many modern critics, including Marshall McLuhan and Frederic Jameson, among others, would never have been conceived.

But remember, Benjamin was a socialist. His writing is in the public domain and available free of charge here (regardless of what country you're in):
[...]

I appreciate the role that Amazon has had in the dissemination of information at the dawn of the digital age, despite their primarily commercial interests. It is unfortunate that the US falls prey to unjust copyright regulations that limit access to freely available content, essentially holding knowledge hostage and demanding ransom. I hope this review will not be taken down.
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33 of 45 people found the following review helpful By R.S. Encaustic on September 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
Your first step in that direction would be not to buy this book. This essay is available in "Illuminations" along with a host of others for just a little more money. $9.95 for a 36 page essay? Prove how smart you are.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is one of Walter Benjamin's most influential essays. It has to do with the changing way we perceive works of art and culture now that they can be mechanically reproduced. Works today are detached from their original place in the Tradition, their connection often with cultic and religious worship and are instead mass copied and reproduced. Benjamin suggests that they lose their authenticity and are perceived in wholly new ways. Benjamin speaks primarily about visual Art and much is written about the way Photography and Film alter our perception, deprive the work of its static being and transform it into a series of moving images. Benjamin connects the aesthetic transformation and concludes the essay with a criticism of the Futuristic pro-Fascist manifesto celebrating War.
There is much in the essay I did not understand. Benjamin is an artist of complex metaphors and each of his sentences is difficult to decipher. He is the critic as creator and each sentence of his begs for rereading and reinterpretation. As Camus said of one of Benjamin's favorite subjects Kafka he must be read and reread to be truly understood. And then read again and still not be completely understood.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on February 24, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This essay is a great place for someone to begin or continue their study of aesthetics. It is written in a very approachable way that nearly demands self reflection on the part of the reader.
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