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Hannah Arendt in Jerusalem$
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Steven Aschheim

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520220560

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520220560.001.0001

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In Search of the Mother Tongue

In Search of the Mother Tongue

Hannah Arendf's German-Jewish Literature

Chapter:
(p.149) In Search of the Mother Tongue
Source:
Hannah Arendt in Jerusalem
Author(s):

Liliane Weissberg

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520220560.003.0009

This chapter focuses on Arendt's concept of a particular tradition, that of a “German–Jewish literature.” Arendt had a firm understanding of German–Jewish identity, and she conceived of a specific literature that would be able to reflect it. What is the context for this “representation,” however, and what is its nature? What are its consequences for her political theory or her — and our — understanding of literature? These questions are explored by concentrating on Arendt's discussion of three authors, Rahel Varnhagen, Franz Kafka, and Walter Benjamin.

Keywords:   German–Jewish identity, Rahel Varnhagen, Franz Kafka, Walter Benjamin

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