Benjamin, Walter - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics

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Walter Benjamin (1892–1940), a German-Jewish intellectual born in Berlin on July 15, was a cultural sociologist, literary critic, and translator of Charles Baudelaire and Marcel Proust. His works are informed by a mixture of Marxism and Jewish mysticism. Benjamin most often is associated with the Frankfurt School as well as with his friends and colleagues Teodor Adorno (1903–1969), Gerschom Scholem (1897–1982), and Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956), all of whom influenced his thought. Believing that the Gestapo was about to capture him, Benjamin committed suicide on September 27 at Port Bou on the French-Spanish border while fleeing from the Nazis. He left behind a large collection of notes and published and unpublished writings, most of which have been compiled, edited, and translated since his death.

Benjamin's books and essays deal with a multitude of subjects, with their most common themes being the degradation of contemporary experience and the need for a radical break with...

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This section contains 831 words
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Buy the Benjamin, Walter Encyclopedia Article
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Benjamin, Walter from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.