Walter & Asja. Une histoire de passions

Author: Grunenberg, Antonia

Publication Date:

February 2022



Original language and publisher

German | Payot & Rivages

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia


Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction

Walter & Asja. Une histoire de passions

Author: Grunenberg, Antonia


A philosopher’s passionate and unrequited love of for a revolutionary at a time when passion was political and ideological, too.

The tale of the total (emotional, physical, intellectual and political) love inspired in Walter Benjamin by a woman who was far better-known and freer than he in their time, but who has been invisibilized since: Asja Lacis. A pedagogical-theatre pioneer who was close to Brecht and immerged in the Soviet Revolution, she introduced Benjamin to Marxism. Having met her in Capri, she became his alpha and omega; he searched for her everywhere, from Riga to Moscow and Berlin, finding her, losing her, and finding her again, as she lived her life to her guise, until the day the fates would tragically separate them. Through this fiery couple, the intellectual history of an entire era unfurls: its violence, its moments of hope and its theater, which, it should be remembered, was a political crucible.

Marketing Information

  • French translation available