Inheriting Walter Benjamin

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2/25/2016
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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Gerhard Richter examines, in the work of Walter Benjamin, one of the central problems of modernity: the question of how to receive an intellectual inheritance.

Covering aspects of Benjamin's complex relationship to the legacies of such writers as Kant, Nietzsche, Kafka, Heidegger, and Derrida, each chapter attends to a key concern in Benjamin's writing, while reflecting on the challenges that this issue presents for the question of inheritability and transmissibility. Both reading Benjamin and watching himself reading Benjamin, Richter participates in the act of inheriting while also inquiring into the conditions of possibility for inheriting Benjamin's corpus today.

Author Biography

Gerhard Richter is Professor of German Studies and Comparative Literature and Chair of the German Studies Department at Brown University, USA. He is the author of 5 previous books in critical theory, including Afterness: Figures of Following in Modern Thought and Aesthetics (2011).

Table of Contents


1. Inheriting Benjamin Otherwise
2. Erbsünde: A Note on Paradoxical Inheritance in Benjamin's Kafka Essay
3. Benjamin's Blotting Paper: Writing and Erasing a Theological Figure of Thought
4. Critique and the Thing: Benjamin and Heidegger
5. The Work of Art and Its Formal and Genealogical Determinations: Benjamin's “Cool Place” between Kant and Nietzsche
6. Going with Time: A Miniature on Time and Photography after Benjamin


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