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New Left Review I/133, May-June 1982

New Left Review

Introduction to Benjamin

Although Walter Benjamin possessed a profound knowledge of classical German literature, his preoccupation with modernism usually led him to explore more obscure or neglected traditions. Thus he ignored mainstream German drama in favour of Baroque tragedy, because of the relevance of allegory to Expressionism; and his writings on Romanticism pursued a similar strategy. For this reason alone the essay printed here holds special interest, as one of the few exceptions to Benjamin’s evasion of the classical tradition.

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