Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 1-6

Contents

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pp. vii-8

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Preface

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pp. ix-xvi

In his famous essay “Literaturgeschichte und Literaturwissenschaft” (Literary History and the Study of Literature) (1931), Walter Benjamin describes the methods of contemporary literary historians as akin to the clumsy acts of a platoon of mercenaries, who, entering into a beautiful house full of treasures and claiming to admire...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xvii-xx

While this book had its beginning and its end in Benjamin’s city of Berlin, no book is ever really written in one place. Rather, it emerges in the extended conversations with the people with whom one works and lives, on the one hand, and in the encounters with the books, projects, and institutions that one has as one writes,...

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Textual Note

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pp. xxi-24

When quoting from the texts of Walter Benjamin that have not been translated, I refer to the Frankfurt edition, Gesammelte Schriften, published by Suhrkamp Verlag, by volume and page. In cases where translations are available, I refer to Selected Writings, published by Harvard University Press, by volume and page....

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Introduction. Benjamin’s Baroque: A Lost Object?

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pp. 1-22

Herder’s claim already more than two hundred years ago that the history of the Baroque is “obscure” is just as accurate in the early twenty-first century as it was in his day, this in spite of the enormous amount of attention devoted by literary, art historical, and art theoretical scholars to both the period (c. 1550–1700) and its styles...

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1. Inventing the Baroque: A Critical History of Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Debates

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pp. 23-76

In 1935, just seven years after Benjamin’s book on the German tragic drama appeared, the Paris publishing house Gallimard released a slim volume entitled Du baroque (On the Baroque) by the Spanish philosopher and man of letters Eugenio d’Ors. Midway through the book, d’Ors indicates, in an idiosyncratic chart...

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2. The Plays Are the Thing: Textual Politics and the German Drama

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pp. 77-137

In addition to being the subject of important art theoretical and literary-historical debates during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Baroque texts were crucial as material objects to the enterprise undertaken during these same years to define and celebrate the period as something other than a foreign...

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3. Melancholy Germans: War Theology, Allegory, and the Lutheran Baroque

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pp. 138-184

In the last prewar summer of 1913, Benjamin wrote to his friend Franz Sachs about a visit to the Basel art museum with his mother. The young university student describes, in somewhat puzzling fashion, his viewing there of the “originals of some of the most famous of Dürer’s graphic oeuvre: The Knight, Death, and...

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Conclusion: Baroque Legacies: National Socialism’s Benjamin

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pp. 185-203

The preface to Benjamin’s Library began with a quote from Benjamin’s essay “Literary History and the Study of Literature” (1931). I repeat that quote below because of its aptness as an introduction to the discordant image called up by the title of my conclusion, in which I discuss a particularly uncanny afterlife for Benjamin’s...

Bibliography

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pp. 205-223

Index

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pp. 225-237