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Walter Benjamin’s Archive

An absorbing selection of Walter Benjamin’s personal manuscripts, images, and documents.
The work of the great literary and cultural critic Walter Benjamin is an audacious plotting of history, art, and thought; a reservoir of texts, commentaries, scraps, and fragments of everyday life, art, and dreams. Throughout his life, Benjamin gathered together all kinds of artifacts, assortments of images, texts, and signs, themselves representing experiences, ideas, and hopes, each of which was enthusiastically logged, systematized, and analyzed by their author. In this way, Benjamin laid the groundwork for the salvaging of his own legacy.

Intricate and intimate, Walter Benjamin’s Archive leads readers to the heart of his intellectual world, yielding a rich and detailed portrait of its author.


  • “Esther Leslie’s translation reveals that no thought should go un-noted”
  • “This Archive is an object to treasure and has the aura of a reliquary, but Benjamin is no saint. Hidden within this small selection is a profaning giant whom we are only beginning to see.”
  • “The most important German aesthetician and literary critic of the twentieth century.”
  • “Elegantly brings together the materials of Benjamin’s bequest and reminds us of what his friend Theodor Adorno rightly said was its greatest significance for subsequent thinking.”
  • “Charming & beautifully produced”
  • “Enchanting”


  • Walter Benjamin, The Storyteller: The Verso podcast in collaboration with the London Review Bookshop

    The Storyteller: Tales Out Of Loneliness gathers for the first time the fiction of Walter Benjamin, edited and translated by Sam Dolbear, Esther Leslie and Sebastian Truskolaski. His stories revel in the erotic tensions of city life, cross the threshold of dreamworlds, celebrate the ludic, and delve into the relationship between fortune-telling and gambling. An edited excerpt from the editors’ introduction, ‘The Storyteller: Walter Benjamin and the Magnetic Play of Words’, is published below, laying out how, taken together, the novellas, fables, histories, aphorisms, parables and riddles in this collection illuminate the themes that defined Benjamin’s work. 

    In the latest Verso podcast in collaboration with the London Review Bookshop, Esther Leslie, Marina Warner and Michael Rosen join Gareth Evans to discuss his experimentation with form and media, his concept of storytelling and the communicability of experience, and the themes that run throughout Benjamin’s creative and critical writing.

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    We present our go-to-guide for the hard-to-buy-for theory fan in your life, or over-excited Bernie Sanders supporter, all 50% off until the end of the year!

    Below you'll find books for New York enthusiasts, Walter Benjaminites, Rosa Luxemburg obsessives, mindfulness sceptics, art lovers, and lots more!

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  • Verso's end-of-year highlights 2015!

    As we approach the end of the year we look back on a great year of publishing, from Patrick Cockburn's best-selling The Rise of Islamic State, to Kate Evans' graphic biography of Rosa Luxemburg; from Walter Benjamin's Archive in paperback, to Portraits: John Berger on on Artists, a beautiful history of art by John Berger, from the Chauvet cave paintings to Cy Twombly, brought together by Tom Overton.

    This blog post is split into sections - highlighted in red - such as Current Afffairs, Memoir, History, Theory/Philosophy, to help you find your favourite books!


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Other books by Walter Benjamin Edited by Ursula Marx, Gudrun Schwarz, Michael Schwarz, and Erdmut Wizisla Translated by Esther Leslie

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    One-Way Street

    A collection of aphorisms and townscapes, esoteric meditation and reminiscences of childhood, and reflections on language, psychology, aesthetics and politics.

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    Understanding Brecht

    The relationship between philosopher-critic Walter Benjamin and playwright-poet Bertolt Brecht was both a lasting friendship and a powerful...

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