Cover: Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, 4: 1938–1940, from Harvard University PressCover: Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, 4: 1938–1940 in PAPERBACK

Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, 4: 1938–1940

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Product Details


$32.00 • £25.95 • €29.00

ISBN 9780674022294

Publication Date: 10/31/2006


496 pages

6-3/8 x 9-1/4 inches

4 halftones

Belknap Press

Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings


Readers new to Benjamin will find this a welcome introduction to a challenging but rewarding writer. Those already familiar with his work will be grateful to be reminded, once again, of the wisdom of his maxim, ‘all the decisive blows are struck left-handed.’—Graham McCann, Financial Times

The latest volume of Harvard’s majestic annoted edition [is] exhilarating… You feel smarter just holding this book in your hand.—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World

Walter Benjamin’s Selected Writings, Volume 4, 1938–40 brings to a conclusion the magisterial series published by the Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.—Ciaran Carson, The Guardian

Whenever [Benjamin] turned his incisive gaze…the clarity of morning’s first light shines forth.—Haim Chertok, The Jerusalem Post

A glance at the table of contents…shows us at once Benjamin’s provocativeness and his infinite variety.—Marshall Berman, The Nation

First things first: this is a magnificent volume. Translating the work of a gifted translator is undoubtedly a somewhat daunting task… Benjamin’s Selected Writings is probably the most outstanding editorial achievement in modern cultural history and political thought that has been published in the last few years. Especially intellectual and social historians of early-twentieth-century Europe, who have traditionally not always paid much attention to Benjamin because of the latter’s appropriation by literary theory, now have every reason to take Benjamin’s writings more seriously.—Christian J. Emden, H-Net

There is nothing like Benjamin, and I can hardly imagine a more rewarding book being published this year.—David Wheatley, The Irish Times

The edition at hand…represents the first serious attempt to present his works with systematic chronology, judicious but inclusive selection, and sensitively accurate translation. The effect is nothing less than electric.—Peter Brier, Macgrill’s Literary Annual

The variety of subjects and the grace of a style that shines though even in translation help explain Benjamin’s reputation as one of our…shrewdest commentators on literature and culture.—Frank Day, South Carolina Review

The final volume in this collection of the German philosopher’s writing, this title covers the last three years of Benjamin’s life and is masterfully translated, edited, and annotated. Presented here are Benjamin’s grandest themes: the arcades of Paris, Baudelaire, the concept of remembrance, and materialist theology. Also included is the third version of Benjamin’s most famous essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility,” which was unpublished in the author’s lifetime. This essay alone makes the volume indispensable for any scholar of interwar literature, philosophy, or modern European thought. Together with the first three volumes in the set (1996–2002), this is one of the most remarkable editorial achievements in contemporary thought and politics.—M. Uebel, Choice

Harvard’s systematic presentation of the work of German cultural critic Benjamin has proved a revelation… This is another splendid volume.Publishers Weekly

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