Walter Benjamin

Esther Leslie (Birkbeck, University of London)
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Walter Benjamin is hard to pin down. His writings do not fit easily into one discipline or area, and his output ranges across art history and aesthetics, literary theory, anthropology, history, philosophy, linguistics and politics. His close friends and correspondents included the Marxist playwright Bertolt Brecht, the critical theorist Theodor Adorno and the Judaic scholar Gershom Scholem. The topics that attracted Benjamin are diverse: literature of the baroque, Romantic and modern periods, especially Goethe, Baudelaire, Kafka, Proust and Brecht, the philosophy of history, the social dynamics of technology, nineteenth century Paris, fascism and militarism, the city, capitalist time, childhood, memory, art and photography. Benjamin's theses on photographic reproduction have been taken up…

2551 words

Citation: Leslie, Esther. "Walter Benjamin". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 July 2001 [, accessed 30 November 2023.]

357 Walter Benjamin 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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