Walter Benjamin

German philosopher and cultural critic, 1892-1940

Benjamin was an eclectic thinker, combining elements of German idealism, Romanticism, historical materialism, and Jewish mysticism, He made enduring and influential contributions to aesthetic theory and Western Marxism, and is associated with the Frankfurt School. Among Benjamin's major works as a literary critic are essays on Goethe, Kafka, Kraus, Leskov, Proust, Baudelaire, and translation theory. He also made major translations into German of the Tableaux Parisiens section of Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal and parts of Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu. Benjamin committed suicide in Portbou at the French-Spanish border while attempting to escape from the Nazis.

Source: Wikipedia

Benjamin, Walter

Philosoph, Literaturkritiker und Übersetzer (1892-1940). Collection of letters by Walter and Georg Benjamin as well as by third parties. Verschiedene Orte. Zusammen 39 SS. auf 23 Bll. Verschiedene Formate. Mit zwei Beilagen (s. u.).
$ 25,074 / 22.500 € (49522/BN33935)

Comprehensive family correspondence centered around Walter Benjamin and his brother, the physician (and later resistance fighter) Georg, Georg's fiancée Grete Kliem, and her friend Lisabeth. The 18 letters and postcards highlight the ideological distance between the socialist Georg Benjamin, from wealthy Jewish merchant stock, and his bourgeois, conservatively Christian fiancée, which ultimately led to the couple's separation. Georg Benjamin, who was to be murdered at Mauthausen concentration camp in 1942, instead married Hilde Lange in 1926.

The jurist Lange later served as minister of justice to the German Democratic Republic, earning her the nickname "Bloody Hilde". - On 21 January 1923, Walter Benjamin writes to his brother Georg: "When I received your message, I once again saw how little feminine skill for investigation I possess in matters of marriage and engagement, for if I had but a small measure of it, I could well have guessed at the purpose of your frequent trips to Hagen [where Grete Kliem lived]. With as much heartfelt warmth as surprise I congratulate you and your future wife on your decision [...] Dora will stay here another while; her recuperation is necessarily progressing slowly, but she is gaining weight. Still, the doctor has advised rest for the foreseeable future [...] I am working here all well as I can, preparing the edition of my friend's [Fritz Heinle's] posthumous papers. The news from Germany are extremely sombre [...]". - Comprises individually: Walter Benjamin: 1) ALS. 21 Jan. 1923. 1 p. 8vo. To Georg. ALS by his wife Dora on reverse. - Georg Benjamin: 1) APcS. [22 Aug. 1923]. 2 pp. 8vo. With autogr. address. To Grete. 2) ALS. 6 Jan. 1923. 1 p. 8vo. To Grete. 3) ALS. Undated. 2 pp. 8vo. To Grete. 4) Autogr. lettercard signed. 16 Feb. 1923. 1 p. Oblong small 8vo. To Grete. 5) ALS. Undated. 1½ pp. 8vo. With autogr. envelope. To Grete. 6) ALS. Berlin, 28 Dec. 1922. 1 p. 8vo. With autogr. envelope. To Grete. With autogr. draft reply from Grete (½ p). 7) ALS. Undated. 4 pp. on bifolium. 8vo. To Grete. 8) ALS. Undated. 3 pp. on bifolium. 8vo. To Grete. - Grete Kliem: 1) Autograph letter draft signed. Undated. 2 pp. Oblong small 4to. To Georg. 2) Autograph letter draft signed. Undated. 1½ pp. Large 8vo. On headed paper of Beyersmann, Hagen i. W. To Georg. 3) Autograph letter draft signed. Undated. 1 p. Small 4to. To Georg. - Lisabeth: 1) ALS. 20 Oct. 1920. 4 pp. on bifolium. 4to. To Grete. 2) ALS. 22 Oct. 1920. 2 pp. 4to. To Grete. 3) ALS. Ilsenburg, 27 Gilbhard [October] 1920. 2 pp. Large 4to. To Grete. 4) ALS. 6 Dec. 1920. 2 pp. 4to. To Grete. 5) ALS. 21 Jan. 1922. 4 pp. on bifolium. 4to. To Grete. - 6) ALS. Undated. 4 pp. on 2 ff. Small 4to. - Includes: 1) Postcard by various undersigners to Hilde Lange, sending congratulations on her betrothal. 2) Addressed envelope from Georg Benjamin to his fiancée..

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