We tweeted about this book when we got our advanced copies a couple of weeks ago, but as it’s one of our most exciting and original publications this year, I really wanted to give it a proper launch on this blog.
The Late Walter Benjamin is a rigorously researched exploration of the life and work of one of the great thinkers and critics of the 20th Century. It is also a work of fiction, telling the story of a man living on a working-class council estate outside London just after the war, who is convinced that he is himself Walter Benjamin and speaks only words written by the influential Marxist thinker. This man’s story is intercut with scenes from the life of the real Benjamin in his final years as he desperately tries to escape Nazi Germany in the run up to his tragic suicide.
In this innovative book, John Schad uses the form of fiction to provide a vivid and academically rigorous account of Benjamin’s life, his thought, its contexts and roots in a persecuted Jewish theology and its relevance for us today – the post-War England of this book is gripped by talk of harsh austerity measures that will sound very familiar to us today.
As I say, I’m really excited that we’ll be publishing this unique book. The Late Walter Benjamin publishes on May 3rd but you can find a free preview of the book’s opening pages by clicking on the button above the jacket.
Senior Commissioning Editor,
Continuum Literary Studies