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With the Sharpened Axe of Reason

Walter Benjamin holds a unique fascination for students and scholars interested in the question of modernity. The most original thinker of Weimar Germany, Benjamin has become something of a cultural icon and his works are often regarded with awe rather than critical scrutiny. This book offers surprising new insights from a number of perspectives -- sociology, history, women's studies, literary and cultural studies -- and investigates unexplored areas of Benjamin scholarship to arrive at a critically balanced perception of his work. There are four main sections: * a critical re-evaluation of Benjamin's concepts of history and modernity in light of postmodernist discourses; * a discussion of aspects of Benjamin's literary scholarship; * a re-evaluation of Benjamin's writings on media and performance theories; and * an investigation of Benjamin's peculiar 'utopianism' which includes a critical consideration of sexual/gender politics.
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Promotional Information

Also available in paperback, 9781859730546 GBP19.99 (April, 1996)

About the Author

Gerhard Fischer Senior Lecturer and Head of the School of German and Russian Studies,University of New South Wales


"If the danger of this collection is that it looks as though it has something for anyone, its appeal is precisely that its eclectic and slightly fragmented overall structure is peculiarly attuned to its subject. This is essential reading for serious students of Benjamin." AUMLA

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