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Benjamin, Walter (Translated by Various Contributors) . WALTER BENJAMIN: SELECTED WRITINGS: VOLUME 1: 1913-1926. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 520 pages. Fine/Fine.

Volume One of the author's collected essays. One of the greatest literary collections of the 20th century. The first appearance of the title in English and in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only and as part of Harvard University's Complete Works of Walter Benjamin. The First Edition is now rare. Presents Walter Benjamin's "Selected Writings: Volume 1: 1913-1926" in a felicitous English translation. The inaugural volume of the Series, a landmark publication in the history of modern thought and literary criticism. "Against conformism, homogeneity, and gentrification of all life into a new world order, Benjamin made the word his sword. Brings together essays long and short, academic treatises, reviews, fragments, and privately circulated pronouncements. Includes a number of his most important works: 'Two Poems by Friedrich Holderlin', 'Goethe's Elective Affinities', 'The Concept of Criticism In German Romanticism', 'The Task of The Translator', and 'One Way Street'. He is as compelling and insightful when musing on riddles or children's books as he is when dealing with weightier issues such as the philosophy of language, symbolic logic, or epistemology. We meet Benjamin the youthful idealist, the sober moralist, the political theorist, the experimentalist, the translator, and, above all, the virtual king of criticism, with his magisterial exposition of the basic problems of aesthetics" (Publisher's blurb). Walter Benjamin's personal heroism wasn't just some egotistical idea he had about himself. He lived and then died as a hero: He committed suicide on September 26, 1940 at the French-Spanish border while trying to escape the Nazis with a group of fellow Jews. They were all arrested by the Spanish police (Franco was one of Hitler's closest allies). Instead of being sent back to Germany to face certain death, Benjamin shot himself (he was 38 years old). Moved and humbled by his desperate yet principled stand, the Spanish police, defying Franco's orders, allowed his fellow Jews to escape. An absolute "must-have" title for Walter Benjamin collectors. This title is a great book. As far as we know, this is the only copy of the First American Edition/First Printing available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: ALL other copies available online are subsequent printings or have serious flaws. A rare copy thus. The greatest literary/cultural critic of the 20th century. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER WALTER BENJAMIN TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0674945859. $200.00

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