Views from one of the most original cultural critics of the twentieth century, Walter Benjamin
Walter Benjamin: Einbahnstraße Erstdruck bei Rowohlt, Berlin, 1928 Neuausgabe. Herausgegeben von Karl-Maria Guth. Berlin 2016. Umschlaggestaltung von Thomas Schultz-Overhage unter Verwendung des Bildes: John Singer Sargent, Palastmauern (Ausschnitt), 1904. Gesetzt aus der Minion Pro, 11 pt.
Walter Benjamin beschreibt in dem Aufsatz Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit die geschichtlichen, sozialen und ästhetischen Prozesse, die mit der technischen Reproduzierbarkeit des Kunstwerkes zusammenhängen. In die Reihe der kunstsoziologischen Arbeiten Benjamins gehören auch die beiden hier zum ersten Mal in Buchform veröffentlichten Texte: Kleine Geschichte der Photographie (1931) und Eduard Fuchs, der Sammler und der Historiker (1937). Sie erhärten Benjamins Einsichten am Einzelfall.
Spatial and cultural analysis have recently found much common ground, focusing in particular on the nature of the city. Place/Culture/Representation brings together new and established voices involved in the reshaping of cultural geography. The authors argue that as we write our geographies we are not just representing some reality, we are creating meaning. Writing becomes as much about the author as it is about purported geographical reality. The issue becomes not scientific truth as the end but the interpretation of cultural constructions as the means. Discussing authorial power, discourses of the other, texts and textuality, landscape metaphor, the sites of power-knowledge relations and notions of community and the sense of place, the authors explore the ways in which a more fluid and sensitive geographer's art can help us make sense of ourselves and the landscapes and places we inhabit and think about.
Die große Philosophin Hannah Arendt porträtiert Persönlichkeiten wie Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Jaspers, Bertolt Brecht, Walter Benjamin und Tania Blixen: »Gemeinsam ist allen das Zeitalter, in das ihre Lebenszeit fiel, die Welt der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts mit ihren politischen Katastrophen, moralischen Desastern und einer erstaunlichen Entwicklung von Kunst und Wissenschaft.«
»Die Universalität von Krasznahorkais Blick zerstreut alle Zweifel an der zeitgenössischen Literatur.« W. G. Sebald Dem Zauber des Beginns ist immer schon der Schrecken des Endes eingeschrieben. Von den europäischen Schriftstellern seiner Generation hat keiner dies so deutlich erfahren wie der ungarische Autor und europäische Weltbürger László Krasznahorkai. In seinem Werk, das im Moment eine aufsehenerregende Rezeption im angelsächsischen Raum erfährt, wird eine so betörend luzide wie düstere Karte unserer Gegenwart gezeichnet. Das leuchtende Dunkel Becketts, in dem er sich mit Kafkas Kompass bewegt, steht auch hinter den Erzählungen seines neuen Buches ›Die Welt voran‹, das durch die Musikalität seiner Sprache und die Eindringlichkeit seiner Bilder zur Widerspiegelung einer beinah geretteten Welt wird.
Excavates the experiential structure of Habermas’s communicative action.
As a visual medium, the photograph has many culturally resonant properties that it shares with no other medium. These essays develop innovative cultural strategies for reading, re-reading and re-using photographs, as well as for (re)creating photographs and other artworks and evoke varied sites of memory in contemporary landscapes: from sites of war and other violence through the lost places of indigenous peoples to the once-familiar everyday places of home, family, neighborhood and community. Paying close attention to the settings in which such photographs are made and used--family collections, public archives, museums, newspapers, art galleries--the contributors consider how meanings in photographs may be shifted, challenged and renewed over time and for different purposes--from historical inquiry to quests for personal, familial, ethnic and national identity.
Der ehemalige SS-Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann gilt als einer der Hauptverantwortlichen für die »Endlösung« der Juden in Europa. Der Prozess gegen ihn fand 1961 in Jerusalem statt. Hannah Arendts Prozessbericht wurde von ihr 1964 als Buch publiziert und brachte eine Lawine ins Rollen: Es stieß bei seinem Erscheinen auf heftige Ablehnung in Israel, Deutschland und in den USA– und wurde zu einem Klassiker wie kaum ein anderes vergleichbares Werk zur Zeitgeschichte und ihrer Deutung.
Twisted bodies, deformed faces, aberrant behavior, and abnormal desires characterized the hideous creatures of classic Hollywood horror, which thrilled audiences with their sheer grotesqueness. Most critics have interpreted these traits as symptoms of sexual repression or as metaphors for other kinds of marginalized identities, yet Angela M. Smith conducts a richer investigation into the period's social and cultural preoccupations. She finds instead a fascination with eugenics and physical and cognitive debility in the narrative and spectacle of classic 1930s horror, heightened by the viewer's desire for visions of vulnerability and transformation. Reading such films as Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), Freaks (1932), and Mad Love (1935) against early-twentieth-century disability discourse and propaganda on racial and biological purity, Smith showcases classic horror's dependence on the narratives of eugenics and physiognomics. She also notes the genre's conflicted and often contradictory visualizations. Smith ultimately locates an indictment of biological determinism in filmmakers' visceral treatments, which take the impossibility of racial improvement and bodily perfection to sensationalistic heights. Playing up the artifice and conventions of disabled monsters, filmmakers exploited the fears and yearnings of their audience, accentuating both the perversity of the medical and scientific gaze and the debilitating experience of watching horror. Classic horror films therefore encourage empathy with the disabled monster, offering captive viewers an unsettling encounter with their own impairment. Smith's work profoundly advances cinema and disability studies, in addition to general histories concerning the construction of social and political attitudes toward the Other.
Drawing on the work of a wide range of architects, artists and writers, this book considers the relations between the architect and the user, which it compares to the relations between the artist and viewer and the author and reader. The book's thesis is informed by the text 'The Death of the Author', in which Roland Barthes argues for a writer aware of the creativity of the reader. Actions of Architecture begins with a critique of strategies that define the user as passive and predictable, such as contemplation and functionalism. Subsequently it considers how an awareness of user creativity informs architecture, architects and concepts of authorship in architectural design. Identifying strategies that recognize user creativity, such as appropriation, collaboration, disjunction, DIY, montage, polyvalence and uselessness, Actions of Architecture states that the creative user should be the central concern of architectural design.
In Stereotype confronts the importance of cultural stereotypes in shaping the ethics and reach of global literature. Mrinalini Chakravorty focuses on the seductive force and explanatory power of stereotypes in multiple South Asian contexts, whether depicting hunger, crowdedness, filth, slums, death, migrant flight, terror, or outsourcing. She argues that such commonplaces are crucial to defining cultural identity in contemporary literature and shows how the stereotype's ambivalent nature exposes the crises of liberal development in South Asia. In Stereotype considers the influential work of Salman Rushdie, Aravind Adiga, Michael Ondaatje, Monica Ali, Mohsin Hamid, and Chetan Bhagat, among others, to illustrate how stereotypes about South Asia provide insight into the material and psychic investments of contemporary imaginative texts: the colonial novel, the transnational film, and the international best-seller. Probing circumstances that range from the independence of the Indian subcontinent to poverty tourism, civil war, migration, domestic labor, and terrorist radicalism, Chakravorty builds an interpretive lens for reading literary representations of cultural and global difference. In the process, she also reevaluates the fascination with transnational novels and films that manufacture global differences by staging intersubjective encounters between cultures through stereotypes.
A materialist critique of the politics, poetics and economics of suffering in liberalism that argues for attention to the labour of suffering of the victim in many well-meaning but flawed politics of redress, and imagines forms of representation, solidarity and justice that better honour the history and materiality of this labour.
The nature of the self is an important point at which philosophy and literature intersect. Text, Body and Indeterminacy acknowledges this connection by forging a link between the philosophical concept of the self and the category of the literary character. The philosophical horizon of Text, Body and Indeterminacy is delineated by the neo-pragmatist debate on selfhood. The book entwines the ideas of Richard Rorty and Richard Shusterman by stressing similarity in their aestheticizing of ethics and by showing the difference in their understanding of the self as textual or bodily. The characters created by Pater and Wilde are freshly assessed within this dual philosophical perspective. Their doppelgängers are seen as the forerunners of postmodernist concepts: the cerebral flâneur is reflected in Rorty’s model “ironist,” and the sensuous aesthete returns through Shusterman’s notion of the somatic self. Text, Body and Indeterminacy establishes how Pater renders his protagonists through discursive patterns—tropes of Decadence, philosophical theorems, and myths—only to subvert these vocabularies and to emphasize the reality of the body, the extra-textual dimension of the self. It also shows how Wilde’s sensuous personae, both bodily and indeterminate, transcend the vocabularies available to the Wildean flâneurs. Through its interpretations, Text Body and Indeterminacy uniquely combines literary portraits by Pater and Wilde, highlights interlocking themes and, in every reading, points to the ethical gains of tilting the idea of selfhood into the somatic realm.

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