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benjamin and the aesthetics of change Arrow vol 9 no 2 contents
About borderlands VOLUME 9 NUMBER 2, 2010



From Uneasy Dreams: Walter Benjamin and the Aesthetics of Idiosyncrasy

Anca Pusca, ed., Walter Benjamin and the Aesthetics of Change,
Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

Mathew Abbott
University of Sydney

Walter Benjamin and the Aesthetics of Change is an eclectic collection. Presenting a series of Benjaminian analyses of political and aesthetic phenomena including architecture, film, mass cultural kitsch, fashion, photography, posters, the art market, and political economy, it provides some fascinating insights into his writing, and into the links between politics and perception. Such eclecticism, however, should not divert us from the philosophical unity of Benjamin’s work, and in this review essay I begin to show how locating such unity will require us to think through the philosophical problem of idiosyncrasy. As this collection indicates, Walter Benjamin was probably the most idiosyncratic of 20th Century thinkers of comparable influence; understanding his theory of emancipation as awakening will mean attending to this fact.

The full article is available as a PDF document: click here.

© borderlands ejournal 2010



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