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Siegfried Kracauer's American Writings: Essays on Film and Popular Culture [Hardcover]

Siegfried Kracauer , Martin Jay , Johannes von Moltke , Kristy Rawson

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Book Description

June 1 2012 Weimar and Now: German Cultural Criticism (Book 45)
Siegfried Kracauer (1889–1966), friend and colleague of Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno, was one of the most influential film critics of the mid-twentieth century. In this book, Johannes von Moltke and Kristy Rawson have, for the first time assembled essays in cultural criticism, film, literature, and media theory that Kracauer wrote during the quarter century he spent in America after fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. In the decades following his arrival in the United States, Kracauer commented on developments in American and European cinema, wrote on film noir and neorealism, examined unsettling political trends in mainstream cinema, and reviewed the contemporary experiments of avant-garde filmmakers. As a cultural critic, he also ranged far beyond cinema, intervening in debates regarding Jewish culture, unraveling national and racial stereotypes, and reflecting on the state of arts and humanities in the 1950s. These essays, together with the editors' introductions and an afterward by Martin Jay offer illuminating insights into the films and culture of the postwar years and provide a unique perspective on this eminent émigré intellectual.

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Review

“[A] fine work.”
(Noah Isenberg Film Comment 2012-07-01)

“There is an urgency in these pieces to convey exactly how powerful what he called “those movies with a message” could be.”
(Los Angeles Review Of Books 2012-11-07)

“American Writings shows that Kracauer was . . . a cultural critic keenly attuned to the interplay of culture and politics as they collided on the cinema screen.”
(Times Literary Supplement (TLS) 2012-12-18)

“This edition is quite informative. . . . [The editors’ input] smoothly guides through the many facets of this important character.”
(Alexander Ebert popcultureshelf.com 2013-04-08)

From the Inside Flap

“We know Siegfried Kracauer as a brilliant Weimar essayist, a Frankfurt School fellow traveler, and a pioneering postwar film theorist. This collection of his American writings uncovers fascinating corners of his film and cultural criticism, firmly placing him in the context of the New York Intellectuals as well.”—Peter Decherney, author of Hollywood's Copyright Wars: From Edison to the Internet.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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