Archive for July 9th, 2009

This new edition of The Origin of German Tragic Drama is translated by John Osborne and comes with an introduction by George Steiner.

Cited by Lukács as a principal source of literary modernism, Walter Benjamin’s study of the baroque stage-form calledVerso 9781844673483 The Origin of German Tragic Drama Trauerspiel (literally, “mourning play”) is the most complete document of his prismatic literary and philosophical practice. Engaging with sixteenth- and seventeenth-century German playwrights as well as the plays of Shakespeare and Calderón and the engravings of Dürer, Benjamin attempts to show how the historically charged forms of the Trauerspiel broke free of tragedy’s mythological timelessness. From its philosophical prologue, which offers a rare account of Benjamin’s early aesthetics, to its mind-wrenching meditation on allegory, The Origin of German Tragic Drama sparkles with early insights and the seeds of Benjamin’s later thought.

The fourth question in our Radical Thinkers giveaway competition is:

Which Marxist thinker stayed with Benjamin on Capri whilst he was writing The Origin of German Tragic Drama?


Entry to the competition for Radical Thinkers question 4 is now closed! The answer is:

Ernst Bloch, whose Atheism in Christianity is now available from Book Depository, Amazon, and all good bookshops.

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