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Student
Title
Supervisor
Faculty
Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Maria Chernovskaya
History of W. Benjamin’s Reception in the USA and Redefinition of the Role of an Intellectual in the Second Half of the XXth Century
Applied Cultural Studies
(Master’s programme)
10
2017
The object of my study is reception of Walter Benjamin’s legacy in the USA. I suggest that Benjamin throughout his life followed the model of patronage, already archaic for the XXth century and attempted to preserve his position as independent literator. Benjamin’s attempt to preserve his position as free and independent literator in real practice led to constant financial problems and alliances with diverse in their functions institutions and ideologies.

Marginal for the first half of the XXth century and tragic life of Benjamin as well as interest to his legacy (including autobiographical works) became a reason for vivid attention to him after death. In the USA essays by Hannah Arendt and Susan Sontag as well as large-scale project by Harvard University Press in translating many Benjamin’s works contributed to this interest.

Appeal of Benjamin’s figure in the USA was caused by the decline of figure of public intellectual in the second half of the XXth century. Popularity of Walter Benjamin in American culture can be explained by his image as ‘last European intellectual’, on one side, and nostalgia from American intellectuals, from another, who were no primarily tied with university world before 1950s.

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