Loneliness, Arendt Poems, Readings
I spent the first half of the week in Valparaiso, Indiana talking about loneliness, and the second half of the week finishing up The Collected Poems of Hannah Arendt in New York.
In editing, Genese Grill and I tracked down a reference to this Hölderlin poem that appears in one of Arendt’s line:
To The Fates Give me but one more summer, you Mighty Ones! And an autumn to perfect my song, So that, surfeited with sweet music, My heart may then die, content. The soul denied its god-given right in life Will not find rest down in Orcus either. But when I have accomplished my great task, Perfected the poem on which my heart is set, Then be welcome, silence of the shadow world! I'll be content, though I must leave my lyre behind And descend without a song; knowing that once I lived like the gods, and nothing more is needed
I’ve returned to the last stanza throughout the week. Unlike loneliness, which was commonly used by ministers to frighten churchgoers from sin by asking them to imagine the loneliness of hell, the relationship between earthliness and godliness is complicated here through the creative activity of making.
New essay on Hannah Arendt and Friendship
For Thinking is Dangerous, novelist Madeleine Thien reflects on “The Many Friendships of Hannah Arendt.” It is a beautiful meditation on Arendt’s correspondence and the friendships that nourished her throughout her life.
And you can listen to my conversation with Madeleine about loneliness and friendship on the Between Worlds podcast here.
Reading: New Music, Criticism, Loneliness
The Point Magazines interview series on Criticism in Public is timely and thought-provoking. I particularly enjoyed this conversation with Emily Ogden who teaches a course on “How Should a Critic Be?”
For the Philosopher’s Magazine Nicholas Whittaker wrote a short essay on “The Right to Be Alone.”
If you’re interested in the legacy of the Frankfurt School, Bernard E. Harcourt at Columbia published a post on Angela Davis, Adorno, and the SDS movement that is worth reading.
I hope you enjoy your week!
Here’s an image of Mary McCarthy editing Hannah Arendt’s life of the mind for The New Yorker.
Talks this week
Washington, DC: If you find yourself in the Washington, DC area on March 30th I’ll be talking about the banality of evil now with Mohamed Amjahid at the Goethe Institut in DC at 6:30pm.
To celebrate the launch of Thinking is Dangerous the University of Chicago Press is offering a 30% discount on all Arendt titles with the promo code: ARENDT