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The life of the German-Jewish literary critic and philosopher Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) is a veritable allegory of the life of letters in the twentieth century. Benjamin's intellectual odyssey culminated in his death by suicide on the Franco-Spanish border, pursued by the Nazis, but long before he had traveled to the Soviet Union. His stunning account of that journey is unique among Benjamin's writings for the frank, merciless way he struggles with his motives and conscience.
Perhaps the primary reason for his trip was his affection for Asja Lacis, a Latvian Bolshevik whom he had first met in Capri in 1924 and who would remain an important intellectual and erotic influence on him throughout the twenties and thirties. Asja Lacis resided in Moscow, eking out a living as a journalist, and Benjamin's diary is, on one level, the account of his masochistic love affair with this elusive--and rather unsympathetic--object of desire. On another level, it is the story of a failed romance with the Russian Revolution; for Benjamin had journeyed to Russia not only to inform himself firsthand about Soviet society, but also to arrive at an eventual decision about joining the Communist Party. Benjamin's diary paints the dilemma of a writer seduced by the promises of the Revolution yet unwilling to blinker himself to its human and institutional failings.
Moscow Diary is more than a record of ideological ambivalence; its literary value is considerable. Benjamin is one of the great twentieth-century physiognomists of the city, and his portrait of hibernal Moscow stands beside his brilliant evocations of Berlin, Naples, Marseilles, and Paris. Students of this particularly interesting period will find Benjamin's eyewitness account of Moscow extraordinarily illuminating.
Über den Autor:
Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) was the author of many works of literary and cultural analysis.
Richard Sieburth is Associate Professor of French, New York University.
The noted scholar Gershom Scholem (1897-1982) was a close friend of Walter Benjamin.
Gary Smith is an editor at work on the Einstein Papers project.
Buchbeschreibung Harvard Univ Pr, 1986. Buchzustand: Good. 067458743x 067458743x Good. (Binding: Hard Cover, Jacket: No Jacket) Some speckling on front and back covers, along outside edges; clean inside. Previous owner's name inscribed on inside front cover. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 1083813
Buchbeschreibung Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1986. Hard Cover. Buchzustand: Fine. First Edition/First Printing. gray cloth, hardcover., no flaws, clean, no writing or markings, tight binding, an unused copy.; 150pp., b/w illustrations. translated from the german by richard sieburth. edited, and with an afterword by gary smith. preface by gershom scholem. first appeared in usa in the journal october. very few hardcovers were printed, rarely appearing. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 11831
Buchbeschreibung Harvard University Press, 1986. Hardcover. Buchzustand: Used: Good. We ship International with Tracking Number! May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service! j. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 067458743XD