Benjamin, Walter (1892-1940) - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Walter Benjamin, philosopher, literary and social critic, and aesthetic theorist of the modernist period, was born to a liberal, middle-class Jewish family on July 15, 1892, in Berlin. He died in 1940 by suicide, having failed to cross the border from France to Spain. Many of his writings were published posthumously. He lived mainly in Germany, but spent his last years in exile in Paris barely surviving as an independent writer. Although close friends such as Gershom Scholem and Theodor W. Adorno encouraged him to move to Israel or to New York, he chose fatefully to stay in Europe.

Benjamin had a seminal impact, especially after the 1960s, on critical theory, art history, and aesthetics; on political philosophy and the philosophy of language and history (in the continental vein); on linguistics, literature, and criticism; on communications, technology, and mass media; even, later, on anthropology, cultural studies, and...

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This section contains 2,104 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Benjamin, Walter (1892-1940) Encyclopedia Article
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