Howard Eiland

discusses

Walter Benjamin:
A Critical Life

This event includes a book signing

Date

Feb
7
Friday
February 7, 2014
4:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store is pleased to welcome HOWARD EILAND, lecturer for literature at MIT, for a discussion of his book Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life, co-authored with Michael W. Jennings.

Walter Benjamin is one of the twentieth century's most important intellectuals, and also one of its most elusive. His writings—mosaics incorporating philosophy, literary criticism, Marxist analysis, and a syncretistic theology—defy simple categorization. And his mobile, often improvised existence has proven irresistible to mythologizers. His writing career moved from the brilliant esotericism of his early writings through his emergence as a central voice in Weimar culture and on to the exile years, with its pioneering studies of modern media and the rise of urban commodity capitalism in Paris. That career was played out amid some of the most catastrophic decades of modern European history: the horror of the First World War, the turbulence of the Weimar Republic, and the lengthening shadow of fascism. Now, a major new biography from two of the world's foremost Benjamin scholars reaches beyond the mosaic and the mythical to present this intriguing figure in full.

Howard Eiland and Michael Jennings make available for the first time a rich store of information which augments and corrects the record of an extraordinary life. They offer a comprehensive portrait of Benjamin and his times as well as extensive commentaries on his major works, including "The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility," the essays on Baudelaire, and the great study of the German Trauerspiel. Sure to become the standard reference biography of this seminal thinker, Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life will prove a source of inexhaustible interest for Benjamin scholars and novices alike.

Howard Eiland
Howard Eiland

Howard Eiland

Howard Eiland is co-author, with Michael W. Jennings, of Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life and co-editor of Benjamin’s Selected Writings (volumes 2–4). He has translated a number of Benjamin’s works, including The Arcades Project (with Kevin McLaughlin), Berlin Childhood around 1900, On Hashish, Early Writings, and Origin of the German Trauerspiel. His most recent publication is Notes on Literature, Film, and Jazz. A graduate of Northwestern and Yale universities, he taught literature at MIT from 1983 to 2014.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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