Hannah Arendt to Mary McCarthy, August 20, 1954 At the moment, translating the old book [The Origins of Totalitarianism] into German, I am unhappy and impatient to get back to what I really want to do [likely her reflections on labor, work, and action]—if I can do it. But that is minor, I mean whether… Continue reading So just how much do you want to study philosophy?
My high school English teacher, Helen Foley, who helped me become who I am (at least the salutary dimensions), warned me against writing in clichés. These are the antitheses of thinking, she said, and she was so right. In all the years since, when I’m writing and a cliché floats to mind as an effective… Continue reading On the peril of cliché: Helen Foley, Peter Levine, Hannah Arendt
I’m gearing up to teach a graduate seminar on Hannah Arendt next fall, which involves the lovely task of collecting, re-reading, and sometimes reading for the first time a wonderful assortment of books, all arrayed on my desk, including, by Arendt: The Origins of Totalitarianism, Between Past and Future, On Revolution, On Violence, Eichman in… Continue reading Reading Arendt
I ended my last post, the first of a series on my current book project, with these questions: Think about where you grew up or where you live now. When there’s a problem, how do people behave? Do they get together? Do they protest, beseech, complain, or even riot? Do they give up? These habits… Continue reading A Phenomenology of Democratic Politics, 2d post