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Benjamin's LibraryModernity, Nation, and the Baroque$
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Jane O. Newman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801476594

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801476594.001.0001

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Benjamin’s Baroque: A Lost Object?

(p.1) Introduction
Benjamin's Library

Jane O. Newman

Cornell University Press

This introductory chapter looks into the lack of critical attention of German discussions on the history of the Baroque, noting how Walter Benjamin's The Origin of the German Tragic Drama has in particular fallen into obscurity even in the already obscure field of Baroque studies. More pointedly, Benjamin was just one of the many scholars engaged in the debates about the Baroque that were conducted with particular intensity beginning in the last decades of the nineteenth century and continuing on into the early part of the twentieth century. Hence this chapter initiates this book's efforts to rescue these discussions and Benjamin's role in them from the obscurity into which they have “faded” by providing a brief refresher of the history of the Baroque as well as the particular contexts that inform Benjamin's ideas of the Baroque and the text of his Tragic Drama book.

Keywords:   Walter Benjamin, German Baroque, Tragic Drama, Baroque history, Baroque studies

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