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His work is widely cited in academic and literary studies, Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin was a German-Jewish Marxist literary critic, essayist, translator, and philosopher.His work is widely cited in academic and literary studies, in particular his essays The Task of the Translator and The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.The original work of art is marked by tradition, heritage, permanence, and uniqueness which contribute to the constitution of its aura.
As a sociological and cultural critic, Benjamin combined ideas drawn from historical materialism, German idealism, and Jewish mysticism in a body of work which was a novel contribution to western philosophy, Marxism, and aesthetic theory.
As a literary scholar, he translated the Tableaux Parisiens edition of Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal as well as Proust's In Search of Lost Time.
Technological reproduction often produces copies of the work of art which outlive the original work of art, thus making the physical lifespan of the actual work largely irrelevant.
Benjamin perceives this as a devaluation of the “here and now” of the artwork by technological reproduction, which he terms as the decaying of the aura of the work of art.
The second is the process of technological reproduction itself as a work of art, such as the art of film (21).
Benjamin explains that the technological modes of reproduction obliterates the mark of authenticity from the work of art.He writes that according to Marx capitalism would not only cause ruthless exploitation of the proletariat, it would also lead to the generation of conditions which would ultimately cause its own destruction.Benjamin feels that the change in the mode of production demands the formulation of new theses which would outline the propensities behind the creation of art in the transformed economic environment.Film, Benjamin points out, is the work of art which is identified as such entirely by its reproducibility (28).He contrasts films with Classical Greek art, such as sculptures, the technological mode of production of which did not allow for much future modifications to be executed.Benjamin identified two major manifestations of the technological reproduction of art.The first is the reproduction of any form of art using modern technological mechanisms (like photography) which profoundly affects the authenticity of the original work of art.Benjamin notes that the unique value of the authentic work of art originates in ritual practices.But technological reproduction liberates the work of art from its subservience to ritual roots as making replicas in a secular setting now becomes one of the purposes behind the creation of art.Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin was a German-Jewish Marxist literary critic, essayist, translator, and philosopher.He was at times associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory and was also greatly inspired by the Marxism of Bertolt Brecht and Jewish mysticism as presented by Gershom Scholem.