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'With the Sharpened Axe of Reason': Approaches to Walter Benjamin
Walter Benjamin holds a unique fascination for students and scholars interested in the question of modernity. The most original thinker of Weimar Germany, Benjamin has become something of a cultural icon and his works are often regarded with awe rather than critical scrutiny. This book offers surprising new insights from a number of perspectives --...
Walter Benjamin holds a unique fascination for students and scholars interested in the question of modernity. The most original thinker of Weimar Germany, Benjamin has become something of a cultural icon and his works are often regarded with awe rather than critical scrutiny. This book offers surprising new insights from a number of perspectives -- sociology, history, women’s studies, literary and cultural studies -- and investigates unexplored areas of Benjamin scholarship to arrive at a critically balanced perception of his work. There are four main sections: a critical re-evaluation of Benjamin’s concepts of history and modernity in light of postmodernist discourses; a discussion of aspects of Benjamin’s literary scholarship; a re-evaluation of Benjamin’s writings on media and performance theories; and an investigation of Benjamin’s peculiar ‘utopianism’ which includes a critical consideration of sexual/gender politics.
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