Shop now Shop now  Up to 70% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Shop now Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now
Customer Review

27 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite, entertaining, remarkable., 17 Mar. 2002
This review is from: The Arcades Project. (Hardcover)
Walter Benjamin is said to have been a shy and awkward man, yet there was something about him that made people want to take his picture. One of the nicest things about Momme Brodersen's lavishly illustrated biography is that, more than half a century after Benjamin's death, American readers can finally get a good look at his face. His mop of floating hair; his glasses-framed, heavy-lidded, soulful eyes, looking down or aimed into the middle distance (looking not into but past the camera); the hand that forms a V under his chin and gives his face a point; the dangling cigarette that seems to be there not so much to be smoked as to be crushed out -- it all makes us feel that we are in the presence of the most serious man who ever lived.
Some of the most radiant visions of Benjamin emerged late in his life, in his beloved Paris at the end of the thirties, the age of Renoir's Grand Illusion, after the Popular Front broke down, before (but not long before) the Nazis came. In 1937 Gisèle Freund photographed Benjamin at work in the Bibliothèque Nationale. She is one of European culture's grandes dames today, but then she was a fellow German-Jewish refugee, only twenty years younger than Benjamin and living even more precariously. In one shot Benjamin searches through a bookshelf, in another he is writing at a table. As usual, his gaze occludes the camera, though clearly he knows it is there. These library shots are visions of a man wholly absorbed in his work and at one with himself. His aura of total concentration can make the rest of us feel like bumbling fools. Or it can remind us why God gave us these big brains and taught us to read and write.
What was he working on that day? Probably his immense Arcades manuscript, the exploration of nineteenth-century Paris that enveloped his life all through the thirties. (When he crossed the Pyrenees on foot in 1940 to escape from France, he carried it with him and wouldn't let go. Lisa Fittko, his guide, later said she felt the manuscript was worth more to him than his life.) But it might have been one of his great late essays in that distinctively modern genre, Theology Without God. Here is a bit from "Theses on the Philosophy of History".
This is why this book is such amazing pierce of literature. If you never read this book, then you have never completed your fulfilment. For the amount you pay for this book, you easierly recive your money back. Its a small amount to pay for such an fabulous piece of work.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail
Tracked by 1 customer

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Dec 2013 03:27:39 GMT
Last edited by the author on 8 Dec 2013 03:30:20 GMT
R. Chapman says:
Somewhat late in the day but less a review, more an intemporate love letter to a writer. Although it is human and interesting to know what a writer looked like,
we should properly study his writings and his ideas, not read subjective emotions into his features. Yes, the book jacket is very fine but what of the contents?
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Location: UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 9,058,305