Of the numerous luminaries of twentieth-century German thought to come to maturity in the period between World War I and World War II, perhaps the most enigmatic and therefore compelling for contemporary readers is the German-Jewish philosopher and critic, Walter Benjamin (1892-1940). Over the course of his brief but exceptionally diverse scholarly career, Benjamin made lasting contributions to philosophy, political thought, literary criticism, art history, and literature (through translations into German of selected works by the French authors Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850), Charles-Pierre Baudelaire (1821-67), and Marcel Proust (18711922). He published numerous articles and books during his lifetime, but at his death left a singularly large collection of unpublished writings, as well. His most influential works include “Goethes Wahlverwandtschaften” (in two parts in 1925),1 Ursprung des deutschen Trauerspiels (1928),2 “The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility” (1936),3 and Das Passagen-Werk, unfinished and published posthumously.4