Called “the most important critic of his time” by Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin has only become more influential over the years, as his work has assumed a crucial place in current debates over the interactions of art, culture, and meaning. A “natural and extraordinary talent for letter writing was one of the most captivating facets of his nature,” writes Gershom Scholem in his Foreword to this volume; and Benjamin's correspondence reveals the evolution of some of his most powerful ideas, while also offering an intimate picture of Benjamin himself and the times in which he lived.
Writing at length to Scholem and Theodor Adorno, and exchanging letters with Rainer Maria Rilke, Hannah Arendt, Max Brod, and Bertolt Brecht, Benjamin elaborates on his ideas about metaphor and language. He reflects on literary figures from Kafka to Karl Kraus, and expounds his personal attitudes toward such subjects as Marxism and French national character. Providing an indispensable tool for any scholar wrestling with Benjamin’s work, The Correspondence of Walter Benjamin, 1910–1940 is a revelatory look at the man behind much of the twentieth century’s most significant criticism.
Mahler: A Musical Physiognomy
Theodor W. Adorno University of Chicago Press, 1992 Library of Congress ML410.M23A5513 1991 | Dewey Decimal 780.924
Theodor W. Adorno goes beyond conventional thematic analysis to gain a more complete understanding of Mahler's music through his character, his social and philosophical background, and his moment in musical history. Adorno examines the composer's works as a continuous and unified development that began with his childhood response to the marches and folk tunes of his native Bohemia.
Since its appearance in 1960 in German, Mahler has established itself as a classic of musical interpretation. Now available in English, the work is presented here in a translation that captures the stylistic brilliance of the original.
Theodor W. Adorno (1903-69), one of the foremost members of the Frankfurt school of critical theory, studied with Alban Berg in Vienna during the late twenties, and was later the director of the Institute of Social Research at the University of Frankfurt from 1956 until his death. His works include Aesthectic Theory, Introduction to the Sociology of Music, The Jargon of Authenticity, Prism, and Philosophy of Modern Music.