$18.9 5 THE WORK OF ART IN THE AGE OF ITS TEe H N0 LOG I CAL REP ROD UCI B I L I TY walter benjamin THE WORK OF AR T IN THE AGE OF ITS AND OTHER WRITINGS ON MEDIA TECH NOLO GICA L REPR ODU CIBILITY AND OTHER WRITINGS ON MED I A Edited by Michael W. Jennings, Brigid Doherty, and Thomas Y. Levin Translated by Edmund Jephcott, Rodney Livingstone, Howard Eiland, and Others Benjamin's famous "Work of Art" essay sets out his boldest thoughts-on med ia and on cu lture in genera l- in their most highly developed fo rm, while retaining an edge that gets under the skin of everyone who reads it. In this essay the visual arts of th e machine age morph into literature and th eory, and then back again to images, gestures, and thought. This essay, however, is only the beginning of a vast collecti on of writings that th e editors have assem bled to demonstrate what was revolutionary about Benja min 'S explorations on med ia. Long before Marshall McLuhan, Benjamin saw that th e way a bullet rips into its victim is exactly th e way a movie or pop song lodges in the sou l. This book contains th e second, and most daring, of the four versions of the "Work of Art" essaythe one that addresses th e utopian developments of the modern media. The collection tracks Benjamin's observati ons on the media as they are revealed in essays on the production and recepti on of art; on fil m, radio, and photography; and on th e modern transformation s of literature and painting. The volume conta ins some of Benjamin's best-known work alongside fascin ating, littleknown essays- some appearing for the first time in English. In th e context of his passionate engagement with questions of aesthetics, the scope of walter benjamin Benjamin'S med ia theory can be fully appreciated.