Walter Benjamin's writings are popular among Chinese scholars, but variances of translation and interpretation have created an understanding of Benjamin that bears little resemblance to how Western scholars discuss and use Benjamin. This special issue uses that dissemblance as a starting point to explore what Benjamin's writings have meant and continue to mean, bringing these multiple different versions of Benjamin into conversation. Contributors explore Benjamin’s fascination with the spiritual power of color, connect his youthful fascination with Chinese thought with his later writings, compare his ideas to the work of Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke and Vietnamese author Bùi Anh Tu?n, and analyze his experiments in imbuing book reviews with social commentary. This issue also includes a new translation of Benjamin's essay "Chinese Paintings at the National Gallery."
Contributors: Walter Benjamin, Briankle G. Chang, Astrid Deuber-Mankowsky, Peter Fenves, Martin Jay, Matthew Lau, Duy Lap Nguyen, Richard A. Rand