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Moscow Diary

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  211 ratings  ·  13 reviews
The life of the German-Jewish literary critic and philosopher Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) is a veritable allegory of the life of letters in the twentieth century. Benjamin's intellectual odyssey culminated in his death by suicide on the Franco-Spanish border, pursued by the Nazis, but long before he had traveled to the Soviet Union. His stunning account of that journey is ...more
Paperback, 156 pages
Published July 1st 1986 by Harvard University Press (first published 1980)
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4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  211 ratings  ·  13 reviews


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Natalia
Benjamin, eras un sujeto muy triste. No sé si me dan ganas de abrazarte o de cachetearte. ¡Reaccioná, hijo, reaccioná!

Unrequited(ish) love is a bitch.

Walter Benjamin es un autor que leemos mucho en Letras. En este caso se trata de un diario que escribió cuando fue a Moscú (duh) en 1926. Estaba perdidamente enamorado de una bolchevique que vivía allí, Asia. Si García Marquez escribió El amor en los tiempos del cólera, esto podría llamarse El amor en los tiempos de revolución; sólo el más puro amo
...more
Александр Шушпанов
О дневниках. Дневники писателей, в отличие от автобиографий, зачастую читать неинтересно, дневник, как правило, оказывается либо "недолговременным" черновиком, либо рабочим конспектом, а иногда просто записной книжкой, из которой вообще трудно вычленить те порывы, которые приводят к созданию произведения. Так, например, в них легко можно встретить список покупок. Писатель тоже человек.

Здесь не то. Здесь, как раз, всё интересно. Беньямин провёл в Москве два месяца - декабрь 1926 и январь 1927, бе
...more
Dariusz Płochocki
Piękna ta zamarznięta Moskwa, piękny i rozpolitykowany Związek Radziecki epoki wczesnego NEPu, Muzeum Zabawek, MGU pełne jeszcze rękodzieła, drogi homar i kawior w restauracjach na Twerskiej, zaniedbane i nieogrzewane Sobory, które odwiedza się już bliżej zmroku, ponure mauzoleum tak niedawno przecież wzniesione. Niedługo wszystko odtaje w duchu stalinowskim. Wybierzemy się z Benjaminem do lokalnych teatrów, skrytykuje on m.in. sztukę Bułhakowa, obejrzymy kilka filmów i poznajmy miłość jego życi ...more
julie
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What a tangled, strange existence Benjamin lived while in Moscow, caught in some kind of love triangle between an consumptive woma, Asja, and a fellow German, Reich. He went to the theatre nearly every night and mixed with all of the names of the day. What a life he lived. It makes his later suicide even more of a shame.

I love the stream-of-consciousness of the entries, no paragraphs to break and separate the different thoughts. It somehow gives a richer insight into Benjamin's thinking processe
...more
lisa_emily
Dec 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: benjamaniacs
A very personal look into Walter Benjamin's life from Decemeber 6, 1926 to February 1, 1927. Within is some of the disillusion that Benjamin experiences with Russia, communism and love (Asja Lacis). This would not be very interesting if you have not read Benjamin's perspicuous essays in culture and literature. But if you have read his essays, this diary conveys a more human Benjamin. (
Anna Gorn
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
In particular book review the essayist’s aim is to consider Walter Benjamin’s “Moscow diary” carefully.
Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) is a german-jewish literary critic and one of the most influential cultural philosophers of the 20th Century. As an eclectic thinker, combining elements of German idealism, Romanticism, Western Marxism and Jewish mysticism, he made enduring and influential contributions to aesthetic theory, literary criticism and historical materialism. His essay “The Work of Art in
...more
Julia L
Apr 22, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
лаконично и однообразно. одним словом - дневник. тяжело читать его, как КНИГУ.
_________

В доме, где есть только свечи, жить проще, чем в доме, где есть электрическое освещение, но электростанция то и дело прекращает подачу тока.
_________

Я понял, что нам не дано одиночество, если человек, которого мы любим, одинок в другом месте, где он для нас недостижим. Так что чувство одиночества, похоже, явление рефлексивное, поражающее нас только тогда, когда до нас доходит отражение знакомых нам людей, бол
...more
Young
Jun 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
it's the pathways to understand his thoughts and life as well.

December 24, 1926
"[...]I realized that solitude does not exist for us as long as someone we love, even though they may be somewhere else beyond our reach, is feeling alone at the same time. The feeling of solitude would therefore seem to be basically a reflexive phenomenon that only strikes us when emitted back to us by people we know, and most often by people we love, whenever they enjoy themselves socially without us. And even the
...more
Tina Janik
May 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Walter Benjamins Tagebuch besticht durch seine schonungslose Hingabe an eine aussichtslose Liebe und überaus treffende Beobachtungen des Moskauer Winters, den er über den Jahreswechsel 1926 bis 1927 in Russland verlebte. Benjamins Angebetete ist Asja, die bolschewistische Lettin aus Riga, wie er sie an anderer Stelle nennt. Moskau bebt und schnauft unter Benjamins Beobachtung. Vor allem für Interessierte der Theaterhistorie ein Liebhaberstück, denn Benjamin geht im Theater Meyerhold ein und aus. ...more
Magdalena
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
What a strange biographical work. Benjamin reveals just how cantankerous be can be as at times his affair with aja is very uncomfortable. But that may have more to do with thinking it strange to imagine him being sweet with anyone.
Dmitry Verkhoturov
Личный дневник немецкого писателя и журналиста о его поездке в Москву с декабря 1926 по февраль 1927. Очень искренне и интересно, рекомендую, если у вас есть хоть капля интереса к этому времени и этому городу.
Turrientes
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Libro bacán. Edición lamentable.
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Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin was a German-Jewish Marxist literary critic, essayist, translator, and philosopher. He was at times associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory and was also greatly inspired by the Marxism of Bertolt Brecht and Jewish mysticism as presented by Gershom Scholem.

As a sociological and cultural critic, Benjamin combined ideas drawn from historical materiali
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“You have to have approached a place from all four cardinal points if you want to take it in, and what’s more, you also have to have left it from all these points. Otherwise it will quite unexpectedly cross your path three or four times before you are prepared to discover it. One stage further, and you seek it out, you orient your-self by it. The same thing with houses. It is only after having crept along a series of them in search of a very specific one that you come to learn what they contain. From the arches of gates, on the frames of house doors, in letters of varying size, black, blue, yellow, red, in the shape of arrows or in the image of boots or freshly-ironed laundry or a word stoop or a stairway’s solid landing, the life leaps out at you, combative, determined, mute. You have to have traveled the streets by streetcar to realize how this running battle con-tinues up along the various stories and finally reaches its decisive pitch on the roofs.” 1 likes
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