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About this product
- Description'There is world of thought that is t a world of language', Walter Benjamin remarked, 'and one only sees in the world what is preconditioned by language'. In this book, Samuel Weber, a leading theorist on literature and media, reveals a new and productive aspect of Benjamin's thought by focusing on a little-discussed stylistic trait in his formulation of concepts. Weber's focus is the critical suffix '-ability' that Benjamin so tellingly deploys in his work. The '-ability' (-barkeit, in German) of concepts and literary forms traverses the whole of Benjamin's oeuvre, from 'impartibility' and 'criticizability' through the well-kwn formulations of 'citability', 'translatability', and, most famously, the 'reproducibility' of The Work of Art in the Age of Its Techlogical Reproducibility . Nouns formed with this suffix, Weber points out, refer to a possibility or potentiality, to a capacity rather than an existing reality. This insight allows for a consistent and enlightening reading of Benjamin's writings. Weber first situates Benjamin's engagement with the '-ability' of various concepts in the context of his entire corpus and in relation to the philosophical tradition, from Kant to Derrida. Subsequent chapters deepen the implications of the use of this suffix in a wide variety of contexts, including Benjamin's Trauerspiel book, his relation to Carl Schmitt, and a reading of Wagner's Ring. The result is an illuminating perspective on Benjamin's thought by way of his language - and one of the most penetrating and comprehensive accounts of Benjamin's work ever written.
- Author BiographySamuel Weber is Avalon Foundation Professor of Humanities at Northwestern University.
- Author(s)Samuel Weber
- PublisherHarvard University Press
- Date of Publication06/04/2010
- Place of PublicationCambridge, Mass
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintHarvard University Press
- Weight476 g
- Width144 mm
- Height227 mm
- Spine25 mm
- Format DetailsUnsewn / adhesive bound,Trade paperback (US)
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