First published in 1916 in German, this important work has never been translated into English--until now. Simmel attacks such questions as "What do we see in a work of Art?" and "What do Rembrandt's portraits tell us about human nature?" This is a major work by a major thinker concerning one of the world's most important painters.
- Paperback | 198 pages
- 152.4 x 226.1 x 15.2mm | 317.52g
- 27 Jun 2005
- Taylor & Francis Ltd
- London, United Kingdom
- 2 Illustrations, black and white
More Than Life: Georg Simmel and Walter Benjamin on Art is the first book to trace the philosophical relation between Georg Simmel and his one-time student Walter Benjamin, two of the most influential German thinkers of the twentieth century.
Reading Simmel’s work, particularly his essays on Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and Rodin, alongside Benjamin’s concept of Unscheinbarkeit (inconspicuousness) and his writings on Charlie Chaplin, More Than Life demonstrates that both Simmel and Benjamin conceive of art as the creation of something entirely new rather than as a mimetic reproduction of a given. The two thinkers diverge in that Simmel emphasizes the presence of a continuous movement of life, whereas Benjamin highlights the priority of discontinuous, interruptive moments.
With the aim of further elucidating Simmel and Benjamin’s ideas on art, Stéphane Symons presents a number of in-depth analyses of specific artworks that were not discussed by these authors. Through an insightful examination of both the conceptual affinities and the philosophical differences between Simmel and Benjamin , Symons reconstructs a crucial episode in twentieth-century debates on art and aesthetics.