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Moscow diary

Author: Walter Benjamin; Gary Smith
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1986.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The life of the German-Jewish literary critic and philosopher Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) is a veritable allegory of the life of letters in the twentieth century. Benjamin's intellectual odyssey culminated in his death by suicide on the Franco-Spanish border, pursued by the Nazis, but long before he had traveled to the Soviet Union. His stunning account of that journey is unique among Benjamin's writings for the  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
Diaries
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Benjamin, Walter, 1892-1940.
Moscow diary.
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1986
(OCoLC)563761255
Named Person: Walter Benjamin; Walter Benjamin; Walter Benjamin; Walter Benjamin; Walter Benjamin
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Walter Benjamin; Gary Smith
ISBN: 067458743X 9780674587434 0674587448 9780674587441
OCLC Number: 13524856
Language Note: Translation of Moskauer Tagebuch.
Notes: Translation of: Moskauer Tagebuch.
Description: 150 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Other Titles: Moskauer Tagebuch.
Responsibility: Walter Benjamin ; edited by Gary Smith ; translated by Richard Sieburth.

Abstract:

The life of the German-Jewish literary critic and philosopher Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) is a veritable allegory of the life of letters in the twentieth century. Benjamin's intellectual odyssey culminated in his death by suicide on the Franco-Spanish border, pursued by the Nazis, but long before he had traveled to the Soviet Union. His stunning account of that journey is unique among Benjamin's writings for the frank, merciless way he struggles with his motives and conscience. Perhaps the primary reason for his trip was his affection for Asja Lacis, a Latvian Bolshevik whom he had first met in Capri in 1924 and who would remain an important intellectual and erotic influence on him throughout the twenties and thirties. Asja Lacis resided in Moscow, eking out a living as a journalist, and Benjamin's diary is, on one level, the account of his masochistic love affair with this elusive--and rather unsympathetic--object of desire. On another level, it is the story of a failed romance with the Russian Revolution; for Benjamin had journeyed to Russia not only to inform himself firsthand about Soviet society, but also to arrive at an eventual decision about joining the Communist Party. Benjamin's diary paints the dilemma of a writer seduced by the promises of the Revolution yet unwilling to blinker himself to its human and institutional failings.

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In the '20s and '30s, YBenjamin was a Jew in Berlin, a visitor to the Russian Revolution, a refugee in France, a citizen of the world in flames. More a man of letters than scholar, and more poet Read more...

 
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Linked Data


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