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Reflections on Literature and Culture

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This is the first time Hannah Arendt's writings on literature and culture have been made available in a single volume. In addition to gathering together essays hitherto dispersed in a variety of English publications, it includes previously unpublished and untranslated material. Drawing on half a century of Arendt's thinking, this volume has the potential to transform the field of Arendt scholarship by revealing Arendt to be not only one of the leading political theorists of her generation, but also a serious and ...
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Overview

This is the first time Hannah Arendt's writings on literature and culture have been made available in a single volume. In addition to gathering together essays hitherto dispersed in a variety of English publications, it includes previously unpublished and untranslated material. Drawing on half a century of Arendt's thinking, this volume has the potential to transform the field of Arendt scholarship by revealing Arendt to be not only one of the leading political theorists of her generation, but also a serious and highly original critic who had great insight about the important literary figures and major cultural events of her day.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The late German-Jewish political theorist Arendt returned repeatedly in her work to the effects and proper uses of power and authority. This career-spanning collection of essays will reinforce for any reader that these preoccupations followed her even into literary criticism, as when she discusses Rilke's Duino Elegiesin terms of religion and the search for God. Literature and culture are defined broadly, as the volume includes essays on novelists and poets like Proust, Kipling and Auden, as well as political theorists and economists. Pieces written in German were translated by different people, which renders Arendt's style somewhat harder to assess than those written in English, where the author's dry wit as well as her erudition are evident, as when she writes, in "The Jew as Pariah": "when it comes to claiming its own in the field of European arts and letters, the attitude of the Jewish people may best be described as one of reckless magnanimity. With a grand gesture and without a murmur of protest it has calmly allowed the credit for its great writers to go to other peoples, itself receiving in return... the doubtful privilege of being acclaimed father of every notorious swindler and mountebank." (Feb.)

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"The late German-Jewish political theorist Arendt returned repeatedly in her work to the effects and proper uses of power and authority. This career-spanning collection of essays will reinforce for any reader that these preoccupations followed her even into literary criticism..."—Publishers Weekly

"Reading this collection of essays, lectures, reviews, and pieces is a wonderful experiences as one follows Hannah Arendt's thinking on specific artists as well as on general themes."—Consciousness, Literature and the Arts

"The insightful essays in this wonderful compilation all focus on the literary figures and cultural themes that Arendt considered pertinent to 20th-century life... And because the collection spans Arendt's career, the reader is granted access to Arendt's early writings and English translations of German originals."—CHOICE

"Arendt was one of the most important American political thinkers of the 20th century. The 34 selections in this volume, which span 1930-75, offer great insight into her less notable works of cultural and literary criticism...Gottlieb arranges the selections chronologically, letting readers see both the consistency and the change in ideas."—Library Journal

"Reflections on Literature and Culture contains fascinating essays on Kafka, Proust, and Brecht."—New York Review of Books

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804744980
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 2/2/2007
  • Series: Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics Series
  • Edition description: ANN
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Susannah Young-ah Gottlieb is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies at Northwestern University, where she is currently the Associate Chair and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of English. She is the author of Regions of Sorrow: Anxiety and Messianism in Hannah Arendt and W.H. Auden (Stanford, 2003).
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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction     xi
Rilke's Duino Elegies   Hannah Arendt   Gunther Stern     1
The Emergence of the German Principle of "Bildung"     24
Friedrich von Gentz: On the 100th Anniversary of His Death, June 9, 1932     31
Renaissance?     38
Berlin Salon     46
Rilke's Revisions     54
Thomas Mann and Romanticism     56
Jews in the World of Yesterday     58
A Hidden Tradition     69
Nightmare and Flight     91
Appreciated Anew     94
Great Friend of Reality   Adalbert Stifter     110
French Existentialism     115
No Longer and Nor Yet     121
Proof Positive     126
The Streets of Berlin     128
The Too Ambitious Reporter     130
Beyond Personal Frustration: The Poetry of Bertolt Brecht     133
Job's Dungheap     143
The Achievement of Hermann Broch     148
Between Vice and Crime (On Proust)     156
The Imperialist Character (On Kipling)     167
The Permanence of the World and the Work of Art     172
Culture and Politics     179
Foreword to Carl Heidenreich's Exhibition Catalog     203
The Social Question (On Melville and Dostoevski)     206
The Golden Fruits     214
What Is Permitted to Jove...: Reflections on the Poet Bertolt Brecht and His Relation to Politics     223
Randall Jarrell, 1914-1965     257
Isak Dinesen, 1885-1962     262
Notes on Dostoevsky's Possessed     275
Emerson Address     282
No Donkey Has Lost Me While Galloping     285
Remembering Wystan H. Auden, Who Died in the Night of the Twenty-eighth of September, 1973     294
Editorial Note: Texts in German and English     303
Notes     305
Index     351
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