Hannah Arendt by Julia Kristeva

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Synopsis

Twenty-five years after her death, we are still coming to terms with the controversial figure of Hannah Arendt. Interlacing the life and work of this seminal twentieth-century philosopher, Julia Kristeva provides us with an elegant, sophisticated biography brimming with historical and philosophical insight.

Centering on the theme of female genius, Hannah Arendt emphasizes three features of the philosopher's work. First, by exploring Arendt's critique of Saint Augustine and her biographical essay on Rahel Varnhagen, Kristeva accentuates Arendt's commitment to recounting lives and narration. Second, Kristeva reflects on Arendt's perspective on

Judaism, anti-Semitism, and the "banality of evil." Finally, the biography assesses Arendt's intellectual journey, placing her enthusiasm for observing both social phenomena and political events in the context of her personal life.

Drawing on fragments of Arendt's most intimate correspondence with her longtime lover Martin Heidegger and her husband Heinrich Blucher, excerpts from her mother's "Unser Kind" (a diary tracking Hannah's formative years), and passages from Arendt's philosophical writings, Kristeva presents a luminous story. With a thorough thematic index and bibliographical references, Hannah Arendt is a major breakthrough in the understanding of an essential thinker.

 

About Julia Kristeva

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Julia Kristeva is an internationally known psychoanalyst and critic and is professor of linguistics at the University of Paris VII. She is the co-author of The Feminine and the Sacred, and author of many other highly regarded books, including Melanie Klein, Strangers to Ourselves, New Maladies of the Soul, Time and Sense, and The Sense and Non-Sense of Revolt all published by Columbia.Ross Guberman is the translator of Julia Kristeva's New Maladies of theSoul and Time and Sense, and editor of Julia Kristeva Interviews.
 
Published January 13, 2001 by University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division. 104 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Intellectual all-star Kristeva (Possessions, 1998) offers this study of Arendt as the first installment of her new trilogy on female genius (the next two will deal with Melanie Klein and Colette).

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Publishers Weekly

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The author of Desire in Language and Powers of Horror takes on the author of The Human Condition and Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil in a new intellectual biography.

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