The Storyteller gathers for the first time the fiction of the legendary critic and philosopher Walter Benjamin, best known for his groundbreaking studies of culture and literature, including Illuminations, One-Way Street and The Arcades Project. His stories revel in the erotic tensions of city life, cross the threshold between rational and hallucinatory realms, celebrate the importance of games, and delve into the peculiar relationship between gambling and fortune-telling, and explore the themes that defined Benjamin. The novellas, fables, histories, aphorisms, parables and riddles in this collection are brought to life by the playful imagery of the modernist artist and Bauhaus figure Paul Klee.
“Dreams, diaries, reviews, fragments, and short fiction make up The Storyteller, but there's no denying that this potpourri by the German critic and philosopher Benjamin is an essential addition to the corpus of one of the 20th century's preeminent figures. As the translators note in an elegant introduction, these pieces explore both the European oral storytelling tradition and a curious mysticism under the aegis of modernist literature...thoroughly illuminating.”