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Franz Hessel

Franz Hessel, Berlin-born son of a Jewish banking family, was a writer and translator, translating works by Casanova, Stendhal, and Balzac, as well as collaborating with Walter Benjamin on a translation of Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu into German. Hessel died in early 1941, shortly after his release from an internment camp.

Titles by This Author

A Flaneur in the Capital

Franz Hessel (1880–1941), a German-born writer, grew up in Berlin, studied in Munich, and then lived in Paris, where he moved in artistic and literary circles. His relationship with the fashion journalist Helen Grund was the inspiration for Henri-Pierre Roche’s novel Jules et Jim (made into a celebrated 1962 film by Francois Truffaut). In collaboration with Walter Benjamin, Hessel reinvented the Parisian figure of the flaneur. This 1929 book—here in its first English translation—offers Hessel’s version of a flaneur in Berlin.