Philosophy and Melancholy: Benjamin's Early Reflections on Theater and Language

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


"This book traces the concept of melancholy in Walter Benjamin's early writings. Rather than focusing on the overtly melancholic subject matter of Benjamin's work or the unhappy circumstances of his own fate, Ferber considers the concept's implications for his early thought. Informed by Heidegger's discussion of moods and their importance for philosophical thought, she contends that a melancholic mood is the organizing principle or structure of Benjamin's early metaphysics and ontology. Her novel analysis of Benjamin's arguments about theater and language features a discussion of the Trauerspiel book that is among the first in English to scrutinize the baroque plays themselves. Philosophy and Melancholy also contributes to the history of philosophy by establishing a strong relationship between Benjamin and other philosophers, including Leibniz, Kant, and Heidegger."--Back cover.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationStanford, California
PublisherStanford University Press
Number of pages241
ISBN (Electronic)0804785198, 0804785201, 080478664X, 9780804785198, 9780804785204, 9780804786645
ISBN (Print)9780804785198, 080478664X, 9780804785204, 9780804786645, 0804785201, 0804785198
StatePublished - 2013

Publication series

NameCultural memory in the present
PublisherStanford University Press


  • Philosophy, German
  • Melancholy (Philosophy)

ULI Keywords

  • uli
  • Benjamin, Walter -- 1892-1940
  • Melancholy
  • Philosophy, German -- 20th century
  • Беньямин, Вальтер -- 1892-1940
  • בנימין, ולטר -- 1892-1940
  • Holz, Detlef -- 1892-1940
  • Benyamin, Walter -- 1892-1940
  • ヴァルター・ベンヤミン -- 1892-1940
  • Dejection -- Melancholy


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