Walter Benjamin

(1928-40 "Marxism" period)

Different kinds of readings/criticism of Benjamin:

  • metaphysical, insterested in Hebrew mysticism--a good friend of Gerschom Scholem,
  • materialist -- a critical Marxist
  • "The Author as Producer": Benjamin, discussing Brecht on politicized art
  • Sketching a biographical account of Benjamin's experiences against crucial years of Central European history, Demetz sees contradictions in Benjamin between his interest in Baudelaire and "naive art," between being "quiet, fastidious, extremely polite" and having a thirst for violence..(Peter Demetz's Introduction in Reflections viii-ix). 

  • Benjamin and Adorno: (Ref. The Adorno-Benjamin debate on artistic autonomy)

    Ardono's criticism of Benjamin: