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Overview

A new translation of philosopher Walter Benjamin's work as it pertains to his famous essay, "The Storyteller," this collection includes short stories, book reviews, parables, and as a selection of writings by other authors who had an influence on Benjamin's work.

“The Storyteller” is one of Walter Benjamin’s most important essays, a beautiful and suggestive meditation on the relation between narrative form, social life, and individual existence—and the product of at least a decade’s work. What might be called the story of The Storyteller Essays starts in 1926, with a piece Benjamin wrote about the German romantic Johann Peter Hebel. It continues in a series of short essays, book reviews, short stories, parables, and even radio shows for children. This collection brings them all together to give readers a new appreciation of how Benjamin’s thinking changed and ripened over time, while including several key readings of his own—texts by his contemporaries Ernst Bloch and Georg Lukács; by Paul Valéry; and by Herodotus and Montaigne. Finally, to bring things around, there are three short stories by “the incomparable Hebel” with whom the whole intellectual adventure began.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681370583
Publisher: New York Review Books
Publication date: 07/23/2019
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 788,373
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) was a philosopher, cultural critic, and essayist. Associated with the Frankfurt School, Benjamin influenced many of his contemporaries, including Bertolt Brecht, Gershom Scholem, and Theodor Adorno. Benjamin's best-known essays include "The Task of the Translator," "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," and "Theses on the Philosophy of History." In 1940, he committed suicide in Portbou, on the French-Spanish border, when his attempt to escape Nazi forces was thwarted.

Samuel Titan is an editor and translator based in Brazil. He teaches comparative literature at the University of São Paulo. 

Tess Lewis has translated works from the French and German, including books by Peter Handke, Anselm Kiefer, Philippe Jaccottet, and Christine Angot. Her awards include the 2017 PEN Translation Prize and a Guggenheim fellowship. She serves as the co-chair of the PEN Translation Committee and is an advisory editor for The Hudson Review.

Table of Contents

Introduction
THE STORYTELLER ESSAYS
Introduction
Johann Peter Hebel
The Crisis of the Novel: On Döblin’s Berlin Alexanderplatz
Mulberry Omelet
The Lisbon Earthquake
Oskar Maria Graf as Storyteller
On Proverbs
The Handkerchief
Storytelling and Healing
Reading Novels
The Art of Storytelling
By the Fire
Experience and Poverty

The Storyteller
ESSAYS BY OTHERS
Silence and Mirror by Ernst Bloch

The Giant’s Toy as Legend by Ernst Bloch
The Embroidery of Marie Monnier by Paul Valéry
From Theory of the Novel by Georg Lukács
On Sadness by Michel de Montaigne
From Histories by Herodotus
From The Treasure Chest of the Rhenish Family-Friend by Johann Peter Hebel

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