How to start to understand Walter Benjamin’s work?

What is Walter Benjamin’s theory?

Benjamin is critical of the tendency to read back modern issues into older controversies. He argues that the ‘spirit of the present age’ is particularly prone to seize on past phenomena and ‘take possession’ of them without any feeling for their content, incorporating them into the self-absorbed fantasies of modernity.

What according to Benjamin is the prerequisite to the concept of authenticity?

The presence of the original is the prerequisite to the concept of authenticity.

What was Walter Benjamin best known for?

Among Benjamin’s best known works are the essays “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (1935), and “Theses on the Philosophy of History” (1940). His major work as a literary critic included essays on Baudelaire, Goethe, Kafka, Kraus, Leskov, Proust, Walser, and translation theory.

What is Benjamin’s dialectical image?

The dialectical image is Benjamin’s mode of presenting history in which the principle of construction is montage. In montage the images’ elements remain unreconciled.

What does Benjamin think about the idea of mechanical reproduction?

Benjamin acknowledges the reality of artistic reproduction throughout history, although he suggests that mechanical reproduction introduced an entirely new and revolutionary change in the experience of the artwork (218).

What does Benjamin mean by the aura of an artwork?

Benjamin argued that ‘even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: Its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be. ‘ He referred this unique cultural context i.e. ‘its presence in time and space‘ as its ‘aura’.

When did Benjamin write on the concept of history?


“Theses on the Philosophy of History” or “On the Concept of History” (German: Über den Begriff der Geschichte) is an essay written in early 1940 by German philosopher and critic Walter Benjamin. It is one of Benjamin’s best-known, and most controversial works.

Was Benjamin a Marxist?

Walter Benjamin, born in a bourgeois Berlin Jewish family in 1892, was not only a brilliant literary critic and sociologist of culture, but also one of the most creative modem Marxist thinkers.
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What does Walter Benjamin think of photography?

In his essay A Short History of Photography (1931), Walter Benjamin did not seek to chronicle the development of photography; rather, he contemplated the important consequences of the invention of photography for the global culture: “At about the same time as the formation of the technology for reproduction, the

What is the basic difference between a stage actor and the Screen Actor According to Benjamin?

Benjamin dissects the difference between a stage actor’s performance and a screen actor’s performance. The film actor performs differently than the stage actor because his audience is not present, putting them in a position of “critic” rather than spectator.

What is the effect of mechanical reproduction on a work of art?

The mechanical reproduction of art detaches it from its origin, it limits the naturally unique existence and it leads to a diminishment of the artwork´s authority over the spectator.

Does art reproduction have value?

Are art reproductions worth anything? In general art reproductions have little value. Fine art replica paintings are not an investment like some original art is. Then again, there’s no guarantee either that an original piece of art will go up in value either.

Is mechanical reproduction of art considered as authentic work of art explain?

By this he means it has a presence in time and space, and a unique existence in the place it happens to be. A reproduction of a work of art lacks ‘authenticity’ as it is not possible, when reproducing the work of art, to establish the exact conditions in which the original artwork was created.

How do you cite the work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction?

How to cite “The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction” by Walter Benjamin

  1. APA. Benjamin, W. (2008). The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction (J. A. Underwood, Trans.). …
  2. Chicago. Benjamin, Walter. 2008. …
  3. MLA. Benjamin, Walter. The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.

What is manual reproduction of art?

Manual reproduction (e.g., a painter produces a new painting by copying an original) was originally considered forgery. In this case, the existence of a forgery does not diminish the authenticity of the original.