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.
"The portrait that emerges is quirky, intentionally subjective, and finely detailed." — Kirkus Reviews
"An elegant, sophisticated biography replete with powerful psychoanalytic insight." — Political Theory.Org
Female Genius: General Introduction
A Biography "So Exposed''
Chapter 1: Life as a Narrative
Love According to Saint Augustine
Chapter 2: Superfluous Humanity
The Meaning of an Example: Rahel Varnhagen
Chapter 3: Thinking, Willing, and Judging
Arendt and Aristotle: A Defense of Narration
The Tale of the Twentieth Century
To Be Jewish
Among the Elements in the Structure
The Example of France
What Is Modern Anti-Semitism?
Imperialism . . . and Totalitarianism
The Banality of Evil
Faith and Revolution . . . in Society, That Sanctified Hearth
The "Who'' and the Body
The Dialogue of the Thinking Ego: The "Split,'' Melancholy, Tyranny
From the Interior Man to the Violence of the Life Process
The Taste of the Spectator: Toward a Political Philosophy
Judgment: Between Forgiveness and Promise
About the Author:
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 the Soul and Time and Sense, and editor of Julia Kristeva Interviews.