Reflections on Literature and Culture

Reflections on Literature and Culture

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As one of the foremost public intellectuals of the twentieth century, Hannah Arendt is well known for her writings on political philosophy. Less familiar are her significant contributions to cultural and literary criticism. This edition brings together for the first time Arendt's reflections on literature and culture. The essays include previously unpublished and untranslated material drawn from half a century of engagement with the works of European and American authors, poets, journalists, and literary critics, including such diverse figures as Proust, Melville, Auden, and Brecht.

Intended for a wide readership, this volume has the potential to change our view of Arendt by introducing her not only as one of the leading political theorists of her generation, but also as a serious, committed, and highly original literary and cultural critic. Gottlieb's introduction ties the work together, showing how Arendt developed a form of literary and cultural analysis that is entirely her own.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 21.59mm | 526g
  • Palo Alto, United States
  • English
  • 0804744998
  • 9780804744997
  • 75,830

Table of contents

Table of Contents Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Rilke's Duino Elegies (with Gunther Anders) 2. Review of Hans Weil, The Emergence of the German Principle of "Bildung" 3. Friedrich von Gentz: On the 20th Anniversary of his Death, June 9, 1932 4. Adam Muller-Renaissance? 5. Berlin Salon 6. Review of Hans Hagen, Rilke's Revisions 7. Review of Kate Hamburger, Thomas Mann and Romanticism 8. Stefan Zweig: Jews in the World of Yesterday 9. The Jew as Pariah: A Hidden Tradition 10. Nightmare and Flight 11. Franz Kafka, Appreciated Anew 12. Great Friend of Reality: Adalbert Stifter 13. French Existentialism 14. No Longer and Not Yet 15. Proof Positive 16. The Streets of Berlin 17. The Too Ambitious Reporter 18. Beyond Personal Frustration: The Poetry of Bertolt Brecht 19. Introduction to Bernard Lazare's Job's Dungheap 20. The Achievement of Hermann Broch 21. Between Vice and Crime (On Proust) 22. The Imperialist Character (On Kipling) 23. The Permanence of the World and the Work of Art 24. Culture and Politics 25. Foreword to Carl Heidenreich's Exhibition Catalog 26. The Social Question (On Melville and Dostoevski) 27. Review of Nathalie Sarraute, The Golden Fruits 28. What Is Permitted to Jove': Reflections on the Poet Bertolt Brecht and his Relation to Politics 29. Randall Jarrell, 1914-1965 30. Isak Dinesen, 1885-1962 31. Dostoevski's Possessed 32. Emerson Address 33. Afterword to Robert Gilbert, No Donkey Has Lost Me While Galopping 34. Remembering Wystan H. Auden, Who Died in the Night of the Twenty-eighth of September, 1973 Editorial Note: On German and English Texts Index
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Review quote

"Reflections on Literature and Culture contains fascinating essays on Kafka, Proust, and Brecht." -- New York Review of Books "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 "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 "This work provides clear insight into the intellectual and creative character of the 20th century and is recommended for academic libraries." -- Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter "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 "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
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About Hannah Arendt

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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Rating details

19 ratings
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