On Walter Benjamin
Bringing together the best critical essays on one of the most fascinating literary figures of our time, this book immediately takes its place as a major source for Benjamin scholarship. Hannah Arendt called Walter Benjamin "the outstanding literary critic of the twentieth century" when she introduced him to English-language readers in 1968 with the selection of essays entitled Illuminations. Since then, his life and work have entered the domain of literary legend. The seventeen essays collected here cover the full range of Benjamin's interests, from hashish to Goethe to the modern city. They include important critical essays by Gershom Scholem and Jürgen Habermas as well as several moving and evocative recollections of Benjamin by friends and colleagues such as Theodor Adorno and Ernst Bloch. Gary Smith served as coeditor of the seventh volume of Benjamin's Gesammelte Schriften and prepared both the German and English editions of Benjamin's Moscow Diary.