Mass Mediauras (eBook)
By Samuel Weber
Edited by Alan Cholodenko
Mass Mediauras provides a superb introduction to and overview of the thought of Samuel Weber, one of the most brilliant critical and cultural theorists of our day. The author's readings of some of the central texts of critical theory—including Kant's Critique of Judgment, Heidegger's The Question Concerning Technology and Benjamin's The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction—are models of philological precision and scholarly responsibility in dealing with complex and difficult material.
In addition to Kant, Heidegger, and Benjamin, Weber examines the thought of Plato, Descartes, Husserl, Kafka, Joyce, and Derrida with respect to questions of aesthetics, objectivity, definition, translation, iterability, representation, and mass media. The essays are supplemented by an interview and discussions ranging over topics including the effects of film and television on the perception of reality, differences in reporting the Vietnam and Gulf Wars, problems of authority and authorship, the controversies over Paul de Man's wartime writings and Heidegger's political positions, the relation of the Frankfurt School to Deconstruction and generally the status of critical 'theory'.
There are many works dealing with the critical and cultural themes and texts examined here, and also several recent expositions of deconstruction. I doubt, however, that there is another work dealing with these topics and issues, either together or individually, that can equal this one for its combined intellectual authority, conceptual subtlety, and literary elegance.
—Barbara Herrnstein Smith, Duke University.