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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous cover, interesting read, 14 May 2010
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This review is from: The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (Penguin Great Ideas) (Mass Market Paperback)
I bought this book because my Aesthetics professor mentioned it in class. The first thing I noticed is that the cover is absolutely brilliant. As for the book itself, it consists of an essay about how the reproducibility of art changes the way we perceive it and how it relates to the mass media society. This is a classic essay but in my opinion it's still a great read today.

The book also includes two more essays, one on Kafka and another on Proust, which I found very interesting and insightful, albeit unexpected considering the book's title. I did find a few connections between these essays and the one on the mechanical reproduction of art, but not many. It's possible that I'm missing something, and this is definitely a book that I will re-read some time in the future.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 24 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (Penguin Great Ideas) (Mass Market Paperback)
A really good book for anyone interested in contemporary art or media theory. Looking at how the culture of mass media allows an audience to view or hear an artisctic piece repeatedlly and examines the attendant effect that the political and social implications of that viewing can have on the wider society.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some nuggets within..., 22 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (Penguin Great Ideas) (Mass Market Paperback)
A short work in which the most thought-provoking part was on the film business and its need to make 'stars' of its actors because the medium of film sucks so much life from a person compared with seeing them on stage, live. Interesting thoughts on original and reproduced art. Brings to mind J D Roberts' aphorism:

'The man who appreciates the original will not buy a reproduction; neither will the man who can't.'
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4.0 out of 5 stars One of the great Lost., 10 May 2015
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Mr. G. Morgan "wes" (Haywards Heath, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (Penguin Great Ideas) (Mass Market Paperback)
The tragic suicide of Benjamin in 1941 as he was fleeing Fascism on the Spanish border was a great loss to cultural criticism since at his best he is a profound, preternaturally acute analyst, as anyone who has read his superb accounts of Kafka and Proust in 'Illuminations' knows. Yes Clive James gives him a pasting in 'Cultural Amnesia', and it is true that the mass-production of art may not in fact rob it of its aura; the central argument is misguided. However, Benjamin is one of that rare breed who can be Wrong and worthwhile; he is always stimulating even when his hermetic prose is almost as much poetry as prose, albeit not a Paterian poesy. This set of meditations on mass-production applied to the study of aesthetics is in the usual obscure, somewhat tortured style you may know. At times he will deliver stunning perceptions of such insight and beauty, that you will wish to read his every word (Except 'The Arcades Project.'). One of the century's great thinkers, if a piecemeal one in his own sui generis Marxist fashion, quite at odds with Soviet style philistinism. He was friends with Brecht, which was not easy and suggests a rare gift for friendship [even if he did say that his theory of Epic Theatre was not applicable to his plays and should be ignored. I'd like to have known what Bertolt thought of THAT].
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4.0 out of 5 stars An influential classic, but not easy reading., 15 July 2014
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This review is from: The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (Penguin Great Ideas) (Mass Market Paperback)
Benjamin wrote his essay in the mid-thirties as a philosophical reflection. It's hard going at times, but he's basically making the point that art had moved from something that the elite used for their own ends, often self-aggrandisement, to a much more egalitarian concept. You could well say it had a strong Marxist influence.

John Berger's "Ways of Seeing" was very influenced by Benjamin's essay; you might well find Berger an easier guide to the change in art.
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4.0 out of 5 stars dense with ideas, 23 Sept. 2014
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tallmanbaby (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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If you are curious about Walter Benjamin the German critic who committed suicide fleeing the Nazis, then this is a good place to start, collecting together three of his most iconic essays, on the impact of reproduction on art, on Kafka and on Proust. He shares a wordy, discursive and analytical style with Proust and writes perceptively about him. These essays contain an density of ideas and thought that is rare, while written with a relatively modern clarity of expression.
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4.0 out of 5 stars One of the most critical and definitive books/ essays on ..., 3 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (Penguin Great Ideas) (Mass Market Paperback)
One of the most critical and definitive books/ essays on modern photography (modern as in Modernist era!). Essential reading for all serious students and practitioners of photography who wish to contextualize the medium of today in a critical history!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 18 May 2014
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This review is from: The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (Penguin Great Ideas) (Mass Market Paperback)
Working on my PhD proposal and this book covers many aspect that I was looking for.

Book was received soon after ordering and in great condition as described.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 5 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (Penguin Great Ideas) (Mass Market Paperback)
This is great just as i expected
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 3 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (Penguin Great Ideas) (Mass Market Paperback)
an excellent read. loved it!
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The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (Penguin Great Ideas)
The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (Penguin Great Ideas) by Walter Benjamin (Mass Market Paperback - 7 Aug. 2008)
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