Hannah Arendt was many things during her life: an author, a journalist, a philosopher, and a theorist. She was one of the most influential and controversial Jewish figures of her time. Her works include The Human Condition and Eichmann in Jerusalem. This year is the 70th anniversary of her landmark book, The Origins of Totalitarianism, which explores the ways that totalitarian regimes come to power.
Explore Arendt’s legacy and continuing impact in this discussion between Samantha Rose Hill, author of the new book Hannah Arendt, part of Reaktion Books’s short biography series Critical Lives, and the upcoming translation of Hannah Arendt’s Poems, and Ken Krimstein, author of The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt.
Watch the program below.
This program’s original recording transcript is below. This transcription was created automatically during a live program so may contain inaccurate transcriptions of some words.
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Hi everyone, my name is Sydney Yaeger and I am the public programs coordinator at the Museum of Jewish heritage, a living memorial to the Holocaust.
00:01:23.460 --> 00:01:33.300
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): i'm honored to introduce today's program reckoning with totalitarianism, the legacy of Han or rent joining us today or samantha rose Hill and can Christine.
00:01:33.780 --> 00:01:44.400
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): samantha is a senior fellow at the ohana around Center for politics and humanities and associate faculty at the brooklyn Institute for social research and the University of the underground.
00:01:44.910 --> 00:01:52.110
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): she's the author of hot around the book, we will be discussing today and how to arrange poems which will be published in 2022.
00:01:52.470 --> 00:02:00.900
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles review books lid hub open democracy public seminar contemporary political theory and theory and event.
00:02:01.620 --> 00:02:09.180
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Can Christine is a cartoonist for the new yorker magazine and it's also the author of the graphic biography the three escapes of Hannah a rent.
00:02:09.390 --> 00:02:19.650
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): A tyranny of truth, which was a finalist for the national Jewish book award in history and has also been published in eight languages his new graphic history is when I grow up.
00:02:20.220 --> 00:02:24.180
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): The last autobiographies of 68 as teenagers, which came out last week.
00:02:25.020 --> 00:02:31.050
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): During the discussion, please feel free to share questions in the zoom Q amp a box and we'll get to as many as we can, during the hour.
00:02:31.440 --> 00:02:40.920
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): This program is being recorded and the video will be available tomorrow on the museum's YouTube channel, so thank you all again for being here and i'm now going to hand things over to Ken and samantha.
00:02:45.120 --> 00:02:45.810
Ken Krimstein: Thank you.
00:02:46.080 --> 00:02:47.520
Samantha Rose Hill: Sydney much.
00:02:48.300 --> 00:02:49.380
Ken Krimstein: hi samantha.
00:02:49.740 --> 00:02:49.980
00:02:51.750 --> 00:03:00.990
Ken Krimstein: Nice meeting you in the zoom and I have to say I wonder what kinda would think about I have to forgive me for calling her honor but i've spent so much time in her head well, what do you think of zoom.
00:03:01.890 --> 00:03:03.270
Samantha Rose Hill: Not you calling her haha.
00:03:03.360 --> 00:03:03.720
Ken Krimstein: No.
00:03:03.780 --> 00:03:04.740
No, no, she was.
00:03:07.710 --> 00:03:28.620
Samantha Rose Hill: A it's certainly a far cry from the public realm of appearances, where we can be present before one another, we are speaking, and we are acting, and this is something of a public space, so I think she may call this the triumph of the social since i'm in my living room.
00:03:29.610 --> 00:03:36.600
Ken Krimstein: yeah, I guess, so I mean, and we are looking into a bit of our private lives through the zoom zoom world but.
00:03:36.900 --> 00:03:51.540
Ken Krimstein: that's something we can we can talk about because you know something that I think know I know fascinates us both so much is this idea of showing up face to face, and that means it's very performative but while we're getting started um.
00:03:53.280 --> 00:04:04.050
Ken Krimstein: let's say by some amazing chance you run into somebody who doesn't know who has on our renters I can't believe that that would ever happen to you, but it might.
00:04:04.590 --> 00:04:05.160
Samantha Rose Hill: It does.
00:04:05.670 --> 00:04:10.170
Ken Krimstein: What do you say to them, and you only have a short amount of time, maybe an elevator ride what What do you say.
00:04:10.890 --> 00:04:27.450
Samantha Rose Hill: I see usually that was one of the most important German Jewish political thinkers of the 20th century that she wrote about the origins of totalitarianism and the nature of evil and the human condition that's my that's my quick.
00:04:28.560 --> 00:04:37.710
Samantha Rose Hill: introduction and most people are most people that I run into are familiar with the banality of evil, if nothing else, even as a.
00:04:38.760 --> 00:04:40.830
Samantha Rose Hill: concept or a phrase.
00:04:40.980 --> 00:04:54.810
Samantha Rose Hill: Right or they have some they have an idea of who aren't is, and I would say, especially after the 2016 presidential election when her name started appearing much more in news essays articles.
00:04:55.080 --> 00:04:55.680
Samantha Rose Hill: and on social.
00:04:55.800 --> 00:05:06.000
Ken Krimstein: Media right yeah I mean she seems to be kind of always on the fringe of of popular understanding um.
00:05:06.870 --> 00:05:23.490
Ken Krimstein: Before I get in a little bit more into your book, maybe a little bit more background on on Hannah and also to learn to lead us, maybe into the topic of totalitarianism, but i'm going to just get you started by saying that she was born in Hanover Germany.
00:05:24.510 --> 00:05:26.460
Ken Krimstein: By nine in 1906.
00:05:26.580 --> 00:05:27.810
Ken Krimstein: Go for it, I mean or.
00:05:28.590 --> 00:05:31.500
Samantha Rose Hill: So I do this when I teach how to aren't to.
00:05:32.220 --> 00:05:42.180
Samantha Rose Hill: Public audience, or when i'm doing an introduction i'll often start by giving people a little bit of a taste of her life before she emigrated to America so.
00:05:42.480 --> 00:05:47.940
Samantha Rose Hill: She was born in 1906 and London Hanover Germany, you know when she was three years old her family.
00:05:48.210 --> 00:05:56.100
Samantha Rose Hill: went to koenigsberg, which was the capital of East Prussia at the time, so that her father syphilis could be treated, he was very sick when she was young.
00:05:56.430 --> 00:06:05.310
Samantha Rose Hill: And when she was seven years old, he died so aren't was raised, mostly by her mother Martha aren't was very precocious from a young age.
00:06:05.610 --> 00:06:20.160
Samantha Rose Hill: By the time she was 14 she knew Greek Latin she had read all of content, also from an expert and she was reading carly aspergers who she would go on to study with one of the fathers of German existentialism.
00:06:20.550 --> 00:06:29.340
Samantha Rose Hill: By the time she was 15 though she got kicked out of school for leading a protest against one of her teachers and she went to Berlin to live alone.
00:06:29.970 --> 00:06:43.320
Samantha Rose Hill: to study and prepare for her exams, you know she studied with Martin heidegger at the University of Marburg and then she went to study with postural the great phenomenology is to have been heidegger's Dr father and then.
00:06:43.920 --> 00:06:55.530
Samantha Rose Hill: carly asperger's at the University of Heidelberg to study loving seeing a gustin in the classic so for people who have never studied philosophy what this basically means is that aren't studied.
00:06:55.980 --> 00:07:05.940
Samantha Rose Hill: With the two German fathers of existentialism and three of the greatest philosophers of the 20th century, she published her first book when she was 23.
00:07:06.660 --> 00:07:20.700
Samantha Rose Hill: So that always makes everyone feel feel wonderful and she became a journalist she started writing her second work on roswell barn hugin the life of a Jewish woman, it was an attempt to understand a simulation.
00:07:21.210 --> 00:07:33.510
Samantha Rose Hill: In Germany, which made her attuned to what was happening at the time and in 1933 She was arrested by the Gestapo for conducting what the Nazis, called for propaganda.
00:07:33.870 --> 00:07:46.200
Samantha Rose Hill: She was collecting anti Semitic statements from the Prussian state library to be sent to world leaders, on behalf of the world Zionist organization, she was held for eight days and you write about this in your book as well.
00:07:48.330 --> 00:07:48.870
Samantha Rose Hill: lori.
00:07:49.230 --> 00:07:57.420
Ken Krimstein: Credible story, I mean she's full of incredible stories, but this one yeah pretty remarkable go ahead and tell it and, as you as you recall it yeah.
00:07:57.510 --> 00:08:11.100
Samantha Rose Hill: Well, so she told her gauss in her 1964 interview on German national television that it was by pure luck that she was able to escape she told him stories night after night.
00:08:11.550 --> 00:08:22.710
Samantha Rose Hill: Keeping him intrigued and he helped her to kind of maneuver and get out but aren't it was very aware of what the stakes were and the next morning she fled.
00:08:23.310 --> 00:08:30.360
Samantha Rose Hill: With her mother Martha they went through Prague to Zurich and then she went to Paris, where she spent the next.
00:08:30.990 --> 00:08:49.020
Samantha Rose Hill: eight and a half years, mostly working for different Zionist organizations, helping Jewish youth prepare to emigrate to move to Palestine to work on keep it seem to work the land and she was learning Hebrew she was learning yet she said she only wanted to do Jewish work at that time.
00:08:49.080 --> 00:08:50.370
Ken Krimstein: And this was really heard on.
00:08:50.490 --> 00:08:57.240
Ken Krimstein: The political right, this is all pre pre World War Two, this is all in the 30s late 30s up into the.
00:08:57.990 --> 00:09:13.170
Samantha Rose Hill: 1933 so she yes 1933 to 1941 is when she escapes and she meets her second husband in Paris and exile hundred fluker.
00:09:14.010 --> 00:09:29.400
Samantha Rose Hill: They get married and four months after they get married actually they're both required to report for in tournament luker was sent to the numbers internment camp aren't receptive to the internment camp in the south of France, which have been built to house.
00:09:30.720 --> 00:09:31.560
Samantha Rose Hill: Spanish.
00:09:32.640 --> 00:09:42.120
Samantha Rose Hill: fighters fleeing the civil war and after five and a half weeks she was part of a mass escape another escape upon aren't so i'm going to keep throwing and.
00:09:42.900 --> 00:09:43.620
Ken Krimstein: skates.
00:09:43.770 --> 00:09:44.490
Samantha Rose Hill: Your break you'll.
00:09:45.000 --> 00:09:45.150
00:09:47.280 --> 00:09:54.780
Samantha Rose Hill: yeah you should know it's an incredible story, as well as the as.
00:09:55.410 --> 00:10:04.410
Samantha Rose Hill: The German front approached and order started falling apart in the camp, the women made a plan to forge documents and walk out.
00:10:04.770 --> 00:10:18.060
Samantha Rose Hill: at the right moment and aren't made her way to learn notice Lord where she spent time with Walter venue mean and then she went to try and find her husband and move on and she was able to by chance, after.
00:10:18.540 --> 00:10:29.400
Samantha Rose Hill: A couple of weeks, and then eventually, with the help of varian fry she was able to they were able to secure exit ISAs and made their way to port.
00:10:29.940 --> 00:10:41.010
Samantha Rose Hill: bow where Walter venue mean had tragically died, and then to Lisbon, where they waited for three months before sailing to New York aren't arrived at.
00:10:41.460 --> 00:10:51.660
Samantha Rose Hill: On Ellis Island on may 22 1941 they have $25 and it was only with a stipend from the world Zionist organization of America.
00:10:52.020 --> 00:11:04.440
Samantha Rose Hill: That they were able to rent to furnish rooms on West 95th street one for them and one for her mother and they would live there for about seven years, and so that was the kind of the incredible backstory.
00:11:04.800 --> 00:11:09.000
Samantha Rose Hill: yeah like before she begins writing the work that we are.
00:11:10.020 --> 00:11:11.880
Ken Krimstein: Today, and she she.
00:11:13.560 --> 00:11:23.430
Ken Krimstein: is essentially stainless one she I mean what does she do when she fleas Germany does she I mean she try and get a French passport when when she do.
00:11:23.850 --> 00:11:40.410
Samantha Rose Hill: yeah so she's stateless she's stateless for 18 and a half years on aren't does not receive American citizenship until 1951 the same year, she publishes origins of totalitarianism, when she was an exile in Paris, she had.
00:11:40.830 --> 00:11:50.760
Samantha Rose Hill: applied for all sorts of grants and assistance to help place her as an academic and i've written a little bit about this online.
00:11:52.050 --> 00:12:00.630
Samantha Rose Hill: And unfortunately, none of those came through her first choice, have been to go to London and then the United States and then Israel.
00:12:01.170 --> 00:12:13.110
Samantha Rose Hill: And it wasn't until she was able to secure exit papers that she was able to get to the United States and then it was as a stateless person so she had those.
00:12:14.010 --> 00:12:24.600
Samantha Rose Hill: She had those kind of temporary visa documents, and I have them they're mostly in the New York public library, which is how I was able to include some of the information from them in the book.
00:12:25.020 --> 00:12:39.540
Ken Krimstein: Right, but just that part of her life even way before origins of totalitarianism or becoming a US citizen is is so packed with incident and.
00:12:39.570 --> 00:12:41.850
Samantha Rose Hill: Yes, and traumas.
00:12:42.330 --> 00:12:50.010
Ken Krimstein: um, how do you feel that you know, there was something that I saw in a review that I shall not get too deeply into of.
00:12:50.010 --> 00:12:50.430
00:12:52.050 --> 00:12:56.490
Ken Krimstein: But, but the person quoted heidegger in a way, and said.
00:12:57.480 --> 00:13:04.560
Ken Krimstein: Well, you know there's two ways of dealing with you know, philosophy and philosophers and I guess I don't know if it's apart from he said.
00:13:04.860 --> 00:13:15.270
Ken Krimstein: Oh yeah Aristotle he lived okay now let's talk about his work or something to that effect, I mean, how do you think, why is the life, but the lived life.
00:13:15.660 --> 00:13:24.930
Ken Krimstein: Something that that attracted you to this story, especially these parts that aren't known, and how does it relate, do you think to her thinking.
00:13:26.160 --> 00:13:44.190
Samantha Rose Hill: it's a wonderful question and it's a complicated question of you know, I was trained as a political theorist and the first thing that I was taught in graduate school was not to confuse the life of a political thinker, with their work and and.
00:13:48.150 --> 00:13:57.360
Samantha Rose Hill: I think was a window with a thinker like quantum are in one of my favorite quotes which I used to open the book is from this 1972.
00:13:58.200 --> 00:14:05.040
Samantha Rose Hill: panel on on our end she had been invited to attend as the guest of honor and she insisted on participating and instead.
00:14:05.430 --> 00:14:11.340
Samantha Rose Hill: And she says that all thinking moves from experience, all thinking moves from experience thinking.
00:14:12.120 --> 00:14:20.280
Samantha Rose Hill: moves from the experiences that we have in the world, our experiences become the material of our thought.
00:14:21.090 --> 00:14:32.670
Samantha Rose Hill: And I think in that way aren't word is much more about how to think, then, what to think and heidegger is an interesting figure to hold up.
00:14:33.330 --> 00:14:50.310
Samantha Rose Hill: In contrast to Honda aren't understanding of self reflective thinking and she was very critical of his own work on thinking, because for heidegger thinking was on worldly it was something you did in private alone by yourself, preferably up in the mountains and a hot.
00:14:51.360 --> 00:14:56.070
Samantha Rose Hill: cut off from other people, but for aren't thinking.
00:14:57.300 --> 00:15:04.800
Samantha Rose Hill: And the ethical implications of thinking, how we make political judgments, how we act in the world how we act towards one another.
00:15:05.820 --> 00:15:20.310
Samantha Rose Hill: is deeply worldly is rooted in conversation is rooted in the two in one conversation of thinking that I have with myself and is rooted in the conversations that we have with other people.
00:15:21.240 --> 00:15:31.950
Samantha Rose Hill: And thinking as part of the process of understanding the world, and from a very early age Honda aren't was hungry to understand the world.
00:15:32.370 --> 00:15:50.340
Samantha Rose Hill: We see that in her early life, even in her mother martha's kindle book that she had kept about her intellectual development as a small child and her own self portrait the shadows and in her poems that were written before the war, you know I think for me.
00:15:51.540 --> 00:16:02.130
Samantha Rose Hill: I was drawn to artists work, the other side of this question because she she wrote in a way that open my imagination.
00:16:03.690 --> 00:16:27.300
Samantha Rose Hill: She kind of opened a window to be a part of the world and made me understand that thinking and academia is not this rarefied place or activity that happens appear in some isolated space that is is deeply worldly and concerned with the most pressing political problems that we are facing.
00:16:27.660 --> 00:16:30.090
Ken Krimstein: yeah i'm really glad that you.
00:16:31.110 --> 00:16:37.680
Ken Krimstein: brought up the the concept of imagination and that's something that I i'd like to get back to, but I wonder.
00:16:38.700 --> 00:16:42.120
Ken Krimstein: let's talk for a second about this this word totalitarianism.
00:16:43.170 --> 00:16:44.550
Ken Krimstein: A big long word.
00:16:46.020 --> 00:16:55.530
Ken Krimstein: means a lot, which means a lot and and came out of you could say came out of her experiences, just so many other things.
00:16:56.190 --> 00:17:06.690
Ken Krimstein: In her did and i've been i've heard or read across the way that she's kind of often given credit for maybe even kind of coming up with that word i'm not quite sure.
00:17:07.080 --> 00:17:21.990
Ken Krimstein: You know, so if you could just talk a little bit about you know, for those who may not know and it's a difficult sometimes a difficult like what's the difference between, say totalitarianism and despotism or dictatorship or.
00:17:22.230 --> 00:17:22.650
Ken Krimstein: You know.
00:17:22.860 --> 00:17:27.600
Ken Krimstein: An absolute monarchy run by a really horrible person who you know you know, like.
00:17:27.930 --> 00:17:29.790
Ken Krimstein: Sure there's a difference there isn't there.
00:17:30.540 --> 00:17:39.870
Samantha Rose Hill: So all right, and has made several lasting contributions to politics political science political philosophy and philosophy.
00:17:40.290 --> 00:17:51.600
Samantha Rose Hill: Her concept of totalitarianism, is one of them, so aren't coins this term totalitarianism as a radically new form of government.
00:17:52.170 --> 00:18:08.370
Samantha Rose Hill: That emerged in the middle of the 20th century with the appearance of Nazi ISM and then she understood Bolshevism to be a more advanced form of Nazi ISM and for aren't totalitarianism, as opposed to.
00:18:09.720 --> 00:18:27.810
Samantha Rose Hill: Democracy fascism authoritarianism has a unique set of qualifying elements so aren't is using this language of elements and constellation and origins and that's her methodology for thinking about.
00:18:28.440 --> 00:18:38.490
Samantha Rose Hill: What totalitarianism is and she's taking that from Walter Benjamin and the CCS on the philosophy of history, but she wants to look at the various.
00:18:38.880 --> 00:18:47.670
Samantha Rose Hill: Elements of totalitarianism, to see how they crystallized into the appearance of totalitarianism as a radically new form of government.
00:18:48.540 --> 00:18:52.950
Samantha Rose Hill: So she's doing it this and i'll tell you what those are in a second but she's doing it this way.
00:18:53.430 --> 00:19:01.230
Samantha Rose Hill: intentionally because what it means is that the different elements of totalitarianism can last or linger or exist in a society.
00:19:01.710 --> 00:19:07.500
Samantha Rose Hill: Even if there isn't a totalitarian form of government in place.
00:19:08.010 --> 00:19:20.160
Samantha Rose Hill: So origins is 597 pages it's three books in one it's a history of anti semitism and how anti Semitism has changed over time it's a history of imperialism and colonialism.
00:19:20.580 --> 00:19:34.860
Samantha Rose Hill: That traces the collapse of the nation state in Europe from the 19th into the 20th century and it's a history of totalitarianism and what this is, and so, for our to solitary aneurysm as a new form of government.
00:19:35.910 --> 00:19:52.800
Samantha Rose Hill: And just just to kind of add emphasis on this, you know political thinkers from Plato onward had been thinking about democracy oligarchy, you know the kind of the traditional three forms of government to solitary aneurysm aren't says isn't interested in new beginnings.
00:19:53.910 --> 00:20:08.340
Samantha Rose Hill: It for closes the possibility of anything new to totalitarianism erases any possibility for spontaneity within society in speaking or an acting because people live in a total state of terror.
00:20:09.270 --> 00:20:20.640
Samantha Rose Hill: And she talks about the iron band of totalitarianism, which compresses us together the atom ization of the masses and she doesn't mean that people are so physically.
00:20:21.150 --> 00:20:41.190
Samantha Rose Hill: bound together she means that society has been atomized and that people subscribe two forms of ID logical thinking which doesn't allow for movement and thought it doesn't allow for an active process of thinking and totalitarianism is defined by the use of concentration camps.
00:20:42.630 --> 00:20:42.960
Ken Krimstein: hmm.
00:20:44.220 --> 00:20:54.690
Ken Krimstein: And it is another word i've another thing i've heard about phrase applied to is it, there are circle, they called surplus people people become.
00:20:56.070 --> 00:20:57.180
Samantha Rose Hill: Less people.
00:20:57.300 --> 00:21:03.270
Ken Krimstein: superfluous yes and um you know one thing that strikes me as you're talking about this.
00:21:05.880 --> 00:21:16.680
Ken Krimstein: To tell we know, one of the terms, one of the things that's very, very important 100 right night I actually wrote something about it myself is this idea of neutrality newness I love that about her.
00:21:16.950 --> 00:21:34.140
Ken Krimstein: And what you said, is that this for closes that possibility, there can be no generative thought there can be no mentality in this world, but what about are there, it is, it proposes to a thought and the question one is.
00:21:35.610 --> 00:21:50.040
Ken Krimstein: totalitarianism, is a new idea like someone came up with it, but it's like the last idea right because it's like we came up with this were the beneficiaries of it, I mean are there, some people who are in the in crowd and they're really loving the state.
00:21:51.780 --> 00:22:04.200
Samantha Rose Hill: Well, certainly, we know that to be true, and so one of the things that aren't there are a couple things that aren't kind of changes your mind about.
00:22:05.220 --> 00:22:19.020
Samantha Rose Hill: After she finishes to talk the origins of totalitarianism and the origins of totalitarianism, she argued that the people were so radically disappeared.
00:22:19.710 --> 00:22:31.950
Samantha Rose Hill: from the world of appearance by being disappeared into concentration camps and murdered and without any form of remembrance, that it was this radical act of aeration that was radical evil.
00:22:33.060 --> 00:22:44.910
Samantha Rose Hill: And so aren't Those are the two things that aren't kind of changes her thinking on and she says that there will always be somebody left to remember, there will always be somebody to tell the story.
00:22:46.740 --> 00:23:01.590
Samantha Rose Hill: And she argues that it wasn't radical evil it wasn't the appearance of hell on earth, that the hell on earth was created by people people had done this, and that this was not some other worldly force okay cause.
00:23:04.050 --> 00:23:09.960
Samantha Rose Hill: The Second World War and but this idea of Sub purposelessness is also very.
00:23:10.410 --> 00:23:23.130
Samantha Rose Hill: Important to aren't argument about understanding the nature of totalitarianism, because underlying all the various elements she outlines in that book from the privatization of political institutions to the loss of class society.
00:23:23.520 --> 00:23:35.190
Samantha Rose Hill: To the instrumental ization of the state for economic imperialism to mass joblessness she offers us three existential conditions of totalitarianism.
00:23:35.850 --> 00:23:52.800
Samantha Rose Hill: homelessness which isn't just a house, but our language our gestures all the things that make us comfortable and forming habits and our daily lives homelessness rootlessness a sense of not being rooted into a Community tradition.
00:23:54.180 --> 00:23:55.170
Samantha Rose Hill: And loneliness.
00:23:56.550 --> 00:24:07.320
Samantha Rose Hill: When she gets to the last 10 pages of the book she talks about loneliness is the underlying cause of all too tall attarian movements and then word that she uses for that is actually not our word loneliness.
00:24:07.680 --> 00:24:17.730
Samantha Rose Hill: it's the German word for last and height just taking it from each other, and it means abandoned ness a sense of feeling abandoned in the world.
00:24:18.390 --> 00:24:33.750
Samantha Rose Hill: And this this word superfluous of feeling oneself to be superfluous I think it's a resonant to our contemporary political situation today, thinking about the loss of dignity community.
00:24:35.100 --> 00:24:36.810
Samantha Rose Hill: meaning in life.
00:24:37.230 --> 00:24:49.020
Ken Krimstein: I mean another quote, that I forgive me i'm sure you mentioned it in the book, but I remember coming across it very, very early on, when I was starting to learn about her and somebody said she had a genius for friendship.
00:24:49.440 --> 00:24:50.550
Samantha Rose Hill: And that.
00:24:50.940 --> 00:25:09.210
Ken Krimstein: This notion of friendship as an antidote to loneliness or a way of getting meaning, could you speak a little bit about that because she's saying, if you look at her life, as I did you think that she had there had to be five of her because she lived so many lives, at the same time right.
00:25:09.240 --> 00:25:11.910
Samantha Rose Hill: just looking at her correspondence.
00:25:13.290 --> 00:25:14.820
Samantha Rose Hill: You start to think there must have been.
00:25:14.820 --> 00:25:17.580
Samantha Rose Hill: So you really have their reality.
00:25:18.090 --> 00:25:23.940
Ken Krimstein: Special special in relate, I mean she she really privileged these types of creative or.
00:25:25.020 --> 00:25:30.660
Ken Krimstein: I mean, can you talk a little bit about her relations with people since it seems to be such an important part of her thinking.
00:25:30.900 --> 00:25:41.850
Samantha Rose Hill: Friendship was very important RN it was very important to how she understood home in the world how she understood love how she understood community.
00:25:42.810 --> 00:25:54.090
Samantha Rose Hill: She says in the venture gas interview that I mentioned a few minutes ago, when he asks are so you don't love any people and she says no, I only love, my friends and.
00:25:55.380 --> 00:26:04.680
00:26:05.070 --> 00:26:15.750
Samantha Rose Hill: As an IT public intellectuals, a thinker as a writer, and she could nourish these intimate relationships one of her closest female friends, which some people might know some people might not was hilda frankel.
00:26:16.680 --> 00:26:27.330
Samantha Rose Hill: Who she had met through Paul Tillich the theologian, and she writes these beautiful letters to her saying you're the only person in the world that I can fully be myself of.
00:26:27.990 --> 00:26:42.120
Samantha Rose Hill: Her correspondence with Mary McCarthy, the American novelist is exquisite it's this beautiful love relationship that they cultivate and nourish were they not they don't just exchange ideas they care.
00:26:42.600 --> 00:26:51.510
Samantha Rose Hill: For one another in the way that family cares for one another and she called her close circle of friends for tribe she had her tribe.
00:26:52.470 --> 00:27:07.410
Samantha Rose Hill: And they were a home for each other, she called her husband for four walls and she understood this space of friendship to be a space of deep personal and intellectual nourishment.
00:27:08.670 --> 00:27:25.380
Samantha Rose Hill: Which made her work, which made the work of thinking and understanding possible but you see all of these incredible acts of friendship throughout her correspondence sending care packages to Carl and Gertrude yes, first a project.
00:27:25.410 --> 00:27:27.360
Samantha Rose Hill: Protecting you H audit.
00:27:27.540 --> 00:27:28.530
Samantha Rose Hill: didn't do many.
00:27:28.770 --> 00:27:29.880
Ken Krimstein: Friends right.
00:27:30.840 --> 00:27:37.800
Ken Krimstein: it's a very deep concept, I think it even goes back to some Greek thinkers talk about the importance of.
00:27:37.800 --> 00:27:41.250
Ken Krimstein: Friendship or bottles Aristotle would be one yeah.
00:27:41.280 --> 00:27:41.700
00:27:42.930 --> 00:27:51.450
Ken Krimstein: um so it struck me when I was doing my book and and I I kind of touched on this and you know when she gets to.
00:27:52.590 --> 00:28:00.810
Ken Krimstein: The Eichmann affair, which I wanted to kind of not talk about in my book, but you kind of can't avoid it one of the things that was a.
00:28:01.440 --> 00:28:13.950
Ken Krimstein: I would have felt would have been very particularly painful to her was that she lost many friends, she also had some people that held close to her, but she's still in my in my interpretation of it um.
00:28:14.760 --> 00:28:24.300
Ken Krimstein: That was her, she courageously bore that I mean I think she That was a it was a pain that she had to carry perhaps I don't know I mean she was she.
00:28:25.320 --> 00:28:35.460
Ken Krimstein: hurt by the abandonment of some people are others, I mean wish you know, this is a woman who seems so strong you know tough a tough woman yet.
00:28:35.640 --> 00:28:37.260
Ken Krimstein: What things affect her.
00:28:37.620 --> 00:28:52.800
Samantha Rose Hill: Absolutely absolutely um you know I think two stories kind of come to mind one is that you know after i'd been in Jerusalem was published in 1963.
00:28:53.310 --> 00:29:00.000
Samantha Rose Hill: aren't spent a good portion of her career after that trying to understand what had happened.
00:29:00.810 --> 00:29:18.600
Samantha Rose Hill: And by what had happened, I mean why people had responded in the way that they did, and her mind, as she spoke about it on many occasions, she had gone to Israel, she had seen the trial and she had recorded what she saw that was her factual truth.
00:29:19.710 --> 00:29:24.840
Samantha Rose Hill: And people told her that no.
00:29:26.070 --> 00:29:33.780
Samantha Rose Hill: that's not what happened, and she wrote about it and people responded to things she had never written.
00:29:34.500 --> 00:29:48.360
Samantha Rose Hill: And so, she wanted to understand what happens to not just to herself, but to the world when that understanding of common sense factual truth falls apart.
00:29:49.350 --> 00:30:03.840
Samantha Rose Hill: And so I think the sheer amount of time that she spent trying to grapple with the aftermath of her repertory on Eichmann is testament to how deeply that affected her and how much space that occupied in her thinking.
00:30:04.680 --> 00:30:05.160
00:30:06.780 --> 00:30:09.420
Ken Krimstein: yeah and you know, I think.
00:30:10.920 --> 00:30:16.890
Ken Krimstein: The famous comments yeah I don't love people and you meant you mentioned those sorts of things.
00:30:18.180 --> 00:30:31.500
Ken Krimstein: before she speaks a little bit about a concept that is very, very important to her and I don't think people we hear about it enough, but she talks about being a pariah a conscious pariah.
00:30:31.830 --> 00:30:44.790
Ken Krimstein: Yes, where is it could you explain a little bit what that means, and why that is important, and on the heels of that you could say that a pariah might be like somebody who's trying to be a provocateur.
00:30:45.180 --> 00:30:48.360
Ken Krimstein: Or is there a right way to be a pariah or wrongly, I mean just speak.
00:30:50.250 --> 00:31:01.860
Samantha Rose Hill: that's a very good question Ken and I think that's a question with Percy and our contemporary political boba today but let's set that we i'm happy to talk about it but let's i'm going to set it in brackets for a second.
00:31:02.160 --> 00:31:19.950
Samantha Rose Hill: And let me just start by saying, I think your illustrations of Honda aren't captured the cheekiness of her conscious pry attitude I I can always see it in the way that you brought her to life, for us, and so I know you can answer this question.
00:31:22.680 --> 00:31:31.890
Ken Krimstein: And it's something known as a cartoonist and you know we it's we're we're a pariah profession in many ways, just being alive today i'm real curious.
00:31:32.310 --> 00:31:34.080
Ken Krimstein: medians yeah.
00:31:35.610 --> 00:31:38.580
Ken Krimstein: The word pariah people don't really know what it means, but.
00:31:38.640 --> 00:31:39.360
Ken Krimstein: What yes.
00:31:39.900 --> 00:31:50.850
Samantha Rose Hill: It comes from her early work on raw whole barn hugin who had had a salon and then a friend and people have ghettos.
00:31:51.330 --> 00:32:00.930
Samantha Rose Hill: And raw hell aren't said aren't said Rocco was her best friend, it was only that she she died 100 years before she had been born.
00:32:01.530 --> 00:32:12.840
Samantha Rose Hill: And at the end of that book which aren't didn't finish until after the war, it was interrupted by the way it was meant to be her ability on her second book to secure a teaching position in Germany.
00:32:13.350 --> 00:32:19.080
Samantha Rose Hill: She comes back to something that Raphael said on her deathbed, which is that it was only then.
00:32:19.440 --> 00:32:27.600
Samantha Rose Hill: When she was about to die that she realized what she thought had been the greatest curse of her life for Jewish identity had been the greatest blessing of her life.
00:32:28.350 --> 00:32:41.010
Samantha Rose Hill: And so, through rnc engagement with Raphael she comes to these terms park avenue pariah and then aren't conceptualize is the self conscious pariah.
00:32:41.520 --> 00:32:53.490
Samantha Rose Hill: And then, when she's in Paris and exile, the story that she uses to illustrate is it comes from an experience that she had so good example of how experience and forms for conceptual thinking.
00:32:54.090 --> 00:33:03.000
Samantha Rose Hill: And she tells the story of a Mr Cohen, who was forced to leave germany's we went to France, he became the best French citizen and then he had to go to Switzerland, he became the best Swiss citizen.
00:33:03.510 --> 00:33:14.760
Samantha Rose Hill: and on and on and aren't says that he would be due to live a miserable life as long as he was one of these Ulysses type wanders who was unwilling to accept what he was a Jewish.
00:33:15.690 --> 00:33:23.820
Samantha Rose Hill: And for art that's it that's the kind of classic example the park avenue the pariah The self conscious pariah and she does.
00:33:24.330 --> 00:33:40.020
Samantha Rose Hill: make some distinctions there, but the self conscious pariah is somebody who proudly carries their identity with them through the world it's a there's a great letter and her correspondence with carly asperger's.
00:33:41.400 --> 00:33:51.840
Samantha Rose Hill: Shortly after the war ends and she hasn't been in the United States for that long and she writes to him, you know this whole American melting pot is a myth.
00:33:52.860 --> 00:34:01.530
Samantha Rose Hill: The great thing about the United States is that there are all of these communities where people are free to bring their traditions with them.
00:34:01.950 --> 00:34:19.020
Samantha Rose Hill: hmm and for our that was very important, and the other side of this is that aren't in origins and in her work on the Jewish prior connected, the history of assimilation, is to anti semitism.
00:34:20.040 --> 00:34:21.720
Samantha Rose Hill: And, yes.
00:34:21.780 --> 00:34:28.410
Ken Krimstein: yeah I mean you, you know, and I hope we're getting some questions from suitably have some people out there.
00:34:29.130 --> 00:34:37.830
Ken Krimstein: But uh you're bringing up some some really and the thing that's wonderful about renting the thing my I quoted the old.
00:34:38.250 --> 00:34:42.450
Ken Krimstein: any of you have been in New York City, for a long time used to ride the subway there was this great.
00:34:43.080 --> 00:34:54.810
Ken Krimstein: Ad campaign for the Roach motel and it had one of the great headlines the roaches check in but they never check out, and I say with Han or rents world what you check into on a random you can never check out it's.
00:34:55.860 --> 00:34:56.760
00:34:57.900 --> 00:35:01.110
Samantha Rose Hill: That rings, a little bit to cheer for me well.
00:35:01.230 --> 00:35:17.790
Ken Krimstein: Because we're all your apartment is, but you have read about the question of identity and you bring up the question of plurality, which is a very, very word that we again, you know a lot of times the way around us is words are very easy to not understand them.
00:35:18.150 --> 00:35:19.260
Ken Krimstein: yeah and.
00:35:20.220 --> 00:35:37.980
Ken Krimstein: I feel that this is in your description of what she kind of liked about America it sort of sounds like a pluralistic vision that that attracted her to it, whether or not you know that is fulfilling its promises, another topic, but can you talk when was plurality.
00:35:39.990 --> 00:35:51.390
Ken Krimstein: I hate to be so simple but like an antidote or a, something that would help against totalitarianism, I don't wanna is there any connection there talk a little about morality, because that's a hard one.
00:35:52.110 --> 00:36:01.620
Samantha Rose Hill: So how are it writes about morality and the human condition, which was the book she published after the origins of totalitarianism in 1958.
00:36:02.040 --> 00:36:13.080
Samantha Rose Hill: And it was meant to be kind of follow up to origins and I always say if origins is about the emergence of totalitarianism than the human condition is about how we can protect spaces of freedom and.
00:36:13.770 --> 00:36:18.990
Samantha Rose Hill: aren't talks about the fundamental elements of the human condition so.
00:36:19.350 --> 00:36:28.530
Samantha Rose Hill: For any kind of politics philosophy nerds who might be listening in within the tradition of philosophy that aren't emerged out of there is a kind of.
00:36:28.800 --> 00:36:36.480
Samantha Rose Hill: tradition of talking about the social contract of imagining what the kind of fundamental elements of the human condition our art rejects this.
00:36:37.020 --> 00:36:50.820
Samantha Rose Hill: She says there's no kind of ontological feeling or position that every single human being possesses no So what is it it's plurality for art and what does that mean it means that nobody.
00:36:51.450 --> 00:36:56.100
Samantha Rose Hill: This year alone, we appear in the world with others, no man is an island.
00:36:56.640 --> 00:37:06.120
Samantha Rose Hill: And that we're all unique and we're only equal in the sense that we're different from one another and it's very much tied to her conception of mortality.
00:37:06.570 --> 00:37:16.680
Samantha Rose Hill: Which aren't is the root of all action in the world, but in totality is our ability to act, but we can never predict the outcome of our actions.
00:37:17.400 --> 00:37:29.370
Samantha Rose Hill: And so, for example, when she gets to the end of Eichmann in Jerusalem and she makes the extra legal argument that I admin has to die, she says he has to die.
00:37:29.730 --> 00:37:38.910
Samantha Rose Hill: Because of his crime against humanity, what was his crime against humanity, it was that he had violated this fundamental principle of the human condition plurality.
00:37:39.570 --> 00:37:49.920
Samantha Rose Hill: The fact that we all have a right to be here because we all appeared here and just because we appear differently from one another doesn't mean anyone else has any greater right to be here.
00:37:50.370 --> 00:37:52.890
Ken Krimstein: Right, and I think you know that.
00:37:53.970 --> 00:38:00.120
Ken Krimstein: That feeds into a lot of things that come out of her life growing up in a world where really.
00:38:01.020 --> 00:38:14.610
Ken Krimstein: emotion and the destruction of people could just barge into your home and take away your your name your possessions your you know it just Willy nilly had to have a massive effect on her psyche and.
00:38:14.790 --> 00:38:27.750
Ken Krimstein: yeah and I don't think she ever said, you know, and I we've talked about this she wasn't the kind of philosopher who you know, and I won't name any names had 14 acolytes following them around lighting their cigarette briefcases.
00:38:29.880 --> 00:38:31.560
Ken Krimstein: really want that, in fact.
00:38:31.710 --> 00:38:32.730
Ken Krimstein: To go she very.
00:38:32.730 --> 00:38:35.670
Ken Krimstein: Famous because I don't even think of myself as a philosopher.
00:38:36.540 --> 00:38:53.100
Ken Krimstein: um so you know, and I think it really For those of you who you know there's a lot I hate this term to unpack but you know you've got you've got these outside the promise and forgiveness forgiveness, is another incredibly subtle.
00:38:54.210 --> 00:39:05.430
Ken Krimstein: notion, but very, very important I, I think, but I want to get to some questions, because we have questions, and I said I wouldn't read them, but one popped up and i'm i'm sorry to chuck this one, at your right now, but we only have.
00:39:05.460 --> 00:39:07.710
Samantha Rose Hill: 20 minutes left bring on the.
00:39:07.950 --> 00:39:30.930
Ken Krimstein: Susanna remer line dress says how would you apply 100 rented today's society and global challenges that we have to grapple with and what message, maybe resonates with you most in if there is one thing that I know we've got a world of problems, but you know what would you think.
00:39:31.860 --> 00:39:39.030
Samantha Rose Hill: So Iran says that to look to the past in order to solve the problems today is a mythological error.
00:39:39.540 --> 00:39:45.660
Samantha Rose Hill: Hot our work is not about telling us what to think it's not a frame to look through but it's about how to think.
00:39:46.320 --> 00:39:58.350
Samantha Rose Hill: And I think in that way, our in sport can help give us a language for making sense of the political crises we face today, and I think this goes to what Ken was just saying to what you were saying and.
00:39:58.890 --> 00:40:17.790
Samantha Rose Hill: and drawing out is that aren't was very attentive to language and the idea that speaking is a form of action, but you know wh auden the poet said that aren't could almost be read like a dictionary she gives us a really rich vocabulary of ideas that we can.
00:40:18.930 --> 00:40:27.180
Samantha Rose Hill: bring into our thinking, I think the Book of Han ahrens that's most important to.
00:40:27.720 --> 00:40:38.550
Samantha Rose Hill: Our political condition today is the human condition if you want to think with one upon ahrens books right now the human condition talks about the specter of technology.
00:40:39.120 --> 00:40:46.470
Samantha Rose Hill: man's desire to escape earth she talks about the loss of distinction between public life and private life.
00:40:46.890 --> 00:41:06.090
Samantha Rose Hill: She talks about the need for remembrance what is political action she talks about identity politics, she talks about forgiveness, she talks about alienation and loneliness and thinking, and I think that book right now really speaks to a myriad of the conversations that we're having.
00:41:06.780 --> 00:41:12.630
Ken Krimstein: yeah i'm Sydney do you want to jump in and moderate a little bit.
00:41:13.200 --> 00:41:14.430
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Sure yeah and I.
00:41:14.430 --> 00:41:20.040
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): mean and also feel, for I know you're both quite knowledgeable about this topic so i'm.
00:41:20.550 --> 00:41:36.720
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): samantha when I when I was reading your book, I was particularly interested sort of by her relationship with heidegger and kind of how complicated it got and I wonder if you can kind of just expand on what the relationship was like and really.
00:41:37.890 --> 00:41:39.420
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Really long term impact yeah I know.
00:41:41.760 --> 00:41:42.540
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): You know, doing again.
00:41:44.100 --> 00:41:51.120
Samantha Rose Hill: ya know, so this is this is, you know, certainly a very complicated part of fanta orange.
00:41:51.870 --> 00:42:01.680
Samantha Rose Hill: legacy when Elizabeth young rule granted access to one correspondence at the German literature archives and marbach.
00:42:02.070 --> 00:42:11.310
Samantha Rose Hill: In the 1980s after oren stuff the world became aware that she had had a romantic relationship with Martin heidegger, who was a Nazi.
00:42:12.120 --> 00:42:22.020
Samantha Rose Hill: And had joined the Nazi party and aren't broke off their relationship in 1933 when she found out about his.
00:42:22.530 --> 00:42:41.430
Samantha Rose Hill: activities and she resumed the relationship after the war and that's the part that is, I think, very difficult for a lot of people who engage with Honda arts work, and this for her goes to forgiveness to reconciliation.
00:42:42.090 --> 00:42:52.350
Samantha Rose Hill: And how it is that we think about who a person is in relationship to what a person does and whether or not the whole of a person.
00:42:53.220 --> 00:43:05.250
Samantha Rose Hill: Whole of a person's life can be reduced to horrible decisions to a horrible act and for our and forgiveness was something that was always interpersonal that happened between people.
00:43:06.000 --> 00:43:13.230
Samantha Rose Hill: One on one to not for the person who's doing the forgiving but for the person who needs to be forgiven so that they're not.
00:43:13.770 --> 00:43:24.900
Samantha Rose Hill: bound by whatever thing that they had done and for heidegger for aren't aren't those T asperger's and her correspondence he's guilt he's basically guilty of murder.
00:43:25.290 --> 00:43:35.610
Samantha Rose Hill: In my mind I can't believe what he did, to Mr oldest missing signing the letter that dismissed all Jewish people from academic post and the German university system.
00:43:36.630 --> 00:43:44.700
Samantha Rose Hill: And she really wrestles with her relationship with him, and we see this in her most clearly in her correspondence.
00:43:45.420 --> 00:43:55.200
Samantha Rose Hill: But she he was and there's no other way to say, this is the great passionate love of your life, and that was something that remained with her.
00:43:55.650 --> 00:44:15.030
Samantha Rose Hill: Her husband was her home her husband what is what gave her the sense of freedom to go careening through the world and do the work that she had to do and heidegger was the kind of poetic romantic love affair that she had throughout her life there's there's a lot to say about it and.
00:44:16.560 --> 00:44:17.340
Ken Krimstein: Let me, you know.
00:44:18.030 --> 00:44:18.900
Samantha Rose Hill: What do you think.
00:44:18.960 --> 00:44:19.350
Ken Krimstein: Well, no.
00:44:20.580 --> 00:44:24.600
Ken Krimstein: Well, you know in my book, I tried I made my own.
00:44:26.520 --> 00:44:33.270
Ken Krimstein: Determination based on the fact that I read many books at the time, and I know a lot of correspondences and out there and basically.
00:44:33.690 --> 00:44:43.080
Ken Krimstein: You know you read four or five of them and they get four or five different answers, so I felt it was sort of fair game for me to make my own interpretation and you'll have to read the book to find that out, but.
00:44:43.530 --> 00:44:50.850
Ken Krimstein: Since some some Samsung kind of that on the hot seat, I see some questions in the Q amp a and i'll try to see what you do with them.
00:44:51.180 --> 00:44:53.040
Ken Krimstein: All right, i'll just bring up.
00:44:54.120 --> 00:44:58.200
Ken Krimstein: The F word no not that one feminism i'm.
00:44:58.260 --> 00:45:09.900
Ken Krimstein: saying yes somebody says, what do you why do somebody says, and I don't know if this is correct or not, but i'll read you the question why do you think that around was so uncomfortable with feminism.
00:45:12.090 --> 00:45:19.710
Samantha Rose Hill: So Hannah aren't sore holy o's she writes in one letter to never touch the question of feminism.
00:45:20.370 --> 00:45:35.790
Samantha Rose Hill: By which she meant specifically second wave feminism in the United States there's a there's one letter I was looking at recently from Gloria steinem that have been sent ohana aren't asking her to sign a petition for row no response from orange.
00:45:36.810 --> 00:45:50.190
Samantha Rose Hill: aren't did not consider herself to be a feminist and she writes about this most clearly and a 1929 book review that she wrote, while she was living in Frankfurt.
00:45:50.940 --> 00:46:05.550
Samantha Rose Hill: it's a review of a German book called on the women problem on the following problem, and she makes an argument there that she sticks with throughout her life that.
00:46:06.360 --> 00:46:17.790
Samantha Rose Hill: The problem of women, as it were, as it was putting that book is an economic problem that this is a question of economic and social equality and not identity for aren't and there's that.
00:46:18.600 --> 00:46:27.960
Samantha Rose Hill: distinction that she draws again between who we are and what we are and she says that just because somebody is born a woman doesn't mean that they belong to a woman's movement.
00:46:28.560 --> 00:46:39.630
Samantha Rose Hill: And she saw any kind of political movement as having a kind of prescription, a kind of ideological way of thinking that said, this is the right way to think about this.
00:46:40.050 --> 00:46:46.320
Samantha Rose Hill: And that kind of framework for aren't was always a non starter it didn't matter if it was Marxism feminism.
00:46:46.980 --> 00:46:57.990
Samantha Rose Hill: Socialism Bolshevism conservatism she avoided all isms isms were hurt for her were signs of ideological thinking, but having said that.
00:46:58.590 --> 00:47:10.080
Samantha Rose Hill: I will also say that you know hot aren't is one of the most important and famous political thinkers of the 20th century.
00:47:10.620 --> 00:47:15.660
Samantha Rose Hill: I don't think being a feminist necessarily implies a set of political beliefs.
00:47:16.320 --> 00:47:26.010
Samantha Rose Hill: And if you watch that 64 interview with gunter gauss she's very cheeky with him in a playful way you really get a sense of her irony.
00:47:26.340 --> 00:47:36.930
Samantha Rose Hill: You know, he asks her you know so you're a woman in philosophy, how is that is it a problem, and she says, of course, it's always a problem, but I do my work.
00:47:37.680 --> 00:47:51.360
Samantha Rose Hill: And, of course, this drove many feminist mad Adrian rich probably most famously wrote about it, trying to really understand how the greatest philosopher of the 20th century, who was a woman when it talks about women's issues.
00:47:52.710 --> 00:47:59.190
Ken Krimstein: You know in it and there's a couple of questions on on this and there are other isms you know being being brought up but.
00:47:59.670 --> 00:48:00.330
Ken Krimstein: um.
00:48:00.690 --> 00:48:02.820
Ken Krimstein: You know how do, how do.
00:48:04.320 --> 00:48:18.300
Ken Krimstein: You know, and maybe you could say it's part of the social sphere that in between place, but how does plurality work to make sure that social groups or constructs are protected.
00:48:19.740 --> 00:48:30.960
Ken Krimstein: Yet not maybe you could say privileged I don't exactly know how to put that some Elizabeth kaplan wrote a question saying you know how, how can you build consensus.
00:48:32.250 --> 00:48:40.110
Ken Krimstein: Without becoming sort of us then becoming like dominated by states, you know or or authoritarianism like how do.
00:48:41.700 --> 00:48:52.350
Ken Krimstein: We were when social movements and it's very tricky for me, because we, and she make some mistakes on it, but yeah How does she deal with.
00:48:52.890 --> 00:48:56.310
Samantha Rose Hill: That i'm sorry, are you thinking of something specific.
00:48:56.640 --> 00:48:59.700
Ken Krimstein: Zionism i'm also thinking of little rock i'm thinking of.
00:49:00.060 --> 00:49:06.660
Ken Krimstein: And she you know, and she does say you know I will make mistakes, but i'm you know i'm getting back to the fact of like.
00:49:07.020 --> 00:49:18.960
Ken Krimstein: kind of pluralistic, I think I might have even asked you this at one time, you know Plato, or you know comes up with this ideal world that we're not really supposed to live in is as hot as pluralistic world attainable.
00:49:20.190 --> 00:49:30.330
Samantha Rose Hill: I don't think she gives us an idea of what that world is, I think that she's trying to understand what is happening, while she's alive.
00:49:30.840 --> 00:49:48.690
Samantha Rose Hill: She says, at the end of her preface to the human condition that the point is to stop and think what we are doing and that we have to continuously be doing that, from the vantage point of our most recent experiences fears desires and so there is no.
00:49:49.830 --> 00:49:51.690
Samantha Rose Hill: She is she's not.
00:49:51.720 --> 00:49:53.130
Ken Krimstein: A utopian thinker yeah but.
00:49:53.250 --> 00:49:58.860
Samantha Rose Hill: When she and that, but in that book that idea of political action.
00:49:59.880 --> 00:50:02.670
Samantha Rose Hill: of appearing in the public realm of acting.
00:50:04.320 --> 00:50:16.320
Samantha Rose Hill: together in concert we can't act alone, we have to act in concert with others for aren't if the tree falls in the woods and there's no one there to hear it, it doesn't fall and so.
00:50:18.660 --> 00:50:28.410
Samantha Rose Hill: When I when she's talking about social equality, I think there's kind of two things happening one she makes the argument that we have to make the argument.
00:50:29.040 --> 00:50:39.480
Samantha Rose Hill: One on one, we have to actually go out into the world physically talk to people make arguments, but for our and social discrimination is part of the fabric.
00:50:40.440 --> 00:50:48.690
Samantha Rose Hill: of life or people make judgments people have opinions, people are going to have taste, she doesn't have a kind of utopian.
00:50:49.380 --> 00:51:00.630
Samantha Rose Hill: vision of living in a society where there's not going to be any more tragedies and I think that's very difficult for some readers of aren't to to wrestle with and.
00:51:01.290 --> 00:51:13.170
Samantha Rose Hill: It is you know I think you said contradiction, I think it does appear as a contradiction in her work in some places, she says in the human condition that every part of our life has touched by politics.
00:51:13.710 --> 00:51:22.410
Samantha Rose Hill: And then she does this very you know kind of sharp any a porous distinction between our private life and our public life, she talks about how the greatest political.
00:51:22.650 --> 00:51:31.620
Samantha Rose Hill: virtue is courage to appear in public and make an argument and perhaps be attacked physically verbally but she doesn't talk about how not everybody.
00:51:32.520 --> 00:51:39.180
Samantha Rose Hill: has equal amounts of courage to appear in a public space or how we get to a place where everybody feels.
00:51:39.930 --> 00:51:51.480
Samantha Rose Hill: comfortable enough or okay enough to appear in that public space and say what they're thinking and so she doesn't give us answers on that she just gives us this kind of framework for thinking with her through some of these questions.
00:51:51.510 --> 00:51:54.720
Ken Krimstein: yeah talk for a minute and I know keep an eye on.
00:51:56.070 --> 00:52:09.360
Ken Krimstein: The time Cindy but about thinking she's a very you know she has a wonderful quote and I and and I think you know she condemns people who don't think through are thinking, the right way, not the right, not the right way she's not trying to be.
00:52:10.200 --> 00:52:23.610
Ken Krimstein: authoritarian about thinking, but she says that you know you have to you have she says, there are no dangerous thoughts thinking itself is a dangerous act and she's saying that everybody should think.
00:52:24.060 --> 00:52:29.070
Ken Krimstein: yeah saying we should live in a dangerous world shouldn't it be a safe worlds and everybody just.
00:52:29.070 --> 00:52:38.250
Samantha Rose Hill: Be that act right about that kind of dangerous so far it has a very idiosyncratic understanding of what.
00:52:38.610 --> 00:52:49.500
Samantha Rose Hill: thinking is when she's talking about thinking she's talking about self reflective thinking, where the self conscious can draw on to conversation the conscience, the conscious being.
00:52:50.400 --> 00:53:02.730
Samantha Rose Hill: The moral sensibility that we have that tells us what's right and what's wrong and how to act in the world, and why we should drive the speed limit down the road and why we should you know not slam the door in our neighbors face right so.
00:53:03.150 --> 00:53:14.700
Samantha Rose Hill: thinking is a space where we can open up this conversation and ourselves to hold ourselves accountable to how it is we act in the world and she's taking this from content and the idea of having an expansive.
00:53:15.090 --> 00:53:22.590
Samantha Rose Hill: imagination it's a kind of political empathy that allows us to expand our thinking so outside of ourselves.
00:53:23.340 --> 00:53:36.480
Samantha Rose Hill: And for aren't thinking is dangerous because it has the ability to approve what we believe what we take for granted in our thinking it makes us aware of how we think and why we think.
00:53:36.930 --> 00:53:47.520
Samantha Rose Hill: Certain things thinking for aren't is very much at the heart of her work, her last work the life of the mind begins with a book.
00:53:48.030 --> 00:53:56.520
Samantha Rose Hill: On thinking, and this is the great kind of negative claim that she makes and talking about the banality of evil is that this form of self reflect.
00:53:57.030 --> 00:54:04.170
Samantha Rose Hill: This form of self reflective thinking might have the ability to prevent evil from happening in the world, she says.
00:54:04.560 --> 00:54:17.430
Samantha Rose Hill: That Eichmann obviously thought he was very smart he was very good at thinking about what he did, but he lacked the ability to imagine the world from the perspective of another yeah and.
00:54:17.730 --> 00:54:22.140
Ken Krimstein: doesn't she say doesn't I mean, of the other guy it almost becomes like a.
00:54:22.650 --> 00:54:34.920
Ken Krimstein: Maybe it's a translation i've seen a bit, but she talks about like common it's it gets very like he didn't think about it from the perspective of the other person it's like we might call that empathy today but i'm not quite sure.
00:54:35.010 --> 00:54:54.540
Samantha Rose Hill: it's not it's not the kind of empathy that we talk about colloquially today it's the kind of philosophical conception of empathy that doesn't have anything to do with feelings, but is about imagining the ethical consequences of our actions so that we might judge differently.
00:54:55.470 --> 00:55:11.550
Ken Krimstein: You know somebody asked question here, and I think it's it's maybe kind of somewhat related to it and evil she quote this person i'm not sure anonymous says evil is thought defying cliches are it's comfort, please what.
00:55:11.580 --> 00:55:20.340
Ken Krimstein: Can yet cliche is a word that she again she uses a lot not we have it in our common language that's a cliche does she think of it differently, what does this mean.
00:55:20.670 --> 00:55:27.750
Samantha Rose Hill: So this goes back to our conversation about language for aren't a person's speech reflects the quality of their thinking.
00:55:28.200 --> 00:55:37.050
Samantha Rose Hill: If a person only speaks and pre populated sentences if they only speaking cliches are idioms then they're not thinking.
00:55:37.560 --> 00:55:42.420
Samantha Rose Hill: Presently, responding to what's in front of them they're just reactive Lee responding.
00:55:42.840 --> 00:55:50.340
Samantha Rose Hill: One of my favorite quotes which is just a sentence she writes, and one of her notebooks is kept us i'm thinking destiny through anish justice.
00:55:51.090 --> 00:55:56.310
Samantha Rose Hill: Is there a way of thinking is there a way of thinking that's not tyrannical.
00:55:57.270 --> 00:56:03.900
Samantha Rose Hill: Is their way of thinking that's not tyrannical and she she follows that by saying, the point is to not be swallowed in the tide at all.
00:56:04.440 --> 00:56:17.370
Samantha Rose Hill: How can you remain independent, self conscious critical thinker and somebody who speaks and cliches is revealing a kind of absence of thinking thinking is something that we do.
00:56:17.580 --> 00:56:18.150
Ken Krimstein: Now, how do you.
00:56:18.720 --> 00:56:25.050
Ken Krimstein: So how can you how can you not fall into that like how, what do you, what do you do.
00:56:25.320 --> 00:56:26.160
Samantha Rose Hill: What do I do.
00:56:26.370 --> 00:56:26.700
Samantha Rose Hill: I live.
00:56:28.290 --> 00:56:29.640
Samantha Rose Hill: I isolate myself in the.
00:56:29.640 --> 00:56:42.810
Samantha Rose Hill: woods and sit alone with my book is no I that's only slightly an exaggeration, but I, you know our our kind of describes the conditions for this form of thinking it requires a space of privacy.
00:56:43.590 --> 00:56:56.130
Samantha Rose Hill: It requires that we be alone by ourselves and that doesn't mean having our cell phone in our hand or having the laptop open in the corner it's that space of being alone with oneself and being.
00:56:56.640 --> 00:57:09.870
Samantha Rose Hill: In harmony with oneself, it requires solitude and solitude is that pleasurable state of being able to keep ourselves company and it's there where we can have this conversation with ourselves, and we can become aware.
00:57:10.350 --> 00:57:19.830
Samantha Rose Hill: of how it is that we think that that's also and can I know, maybe you know something about this, she says that's also where we tell stories to ourselves about the experiences.
00:57:19.980 --> 00:57:21.000
Samantha Rose Hill: That enough.
00:57:21.090 --> 00:57:22.230
Samantha Rose Hill: and make me.
00:57:23.580 --> 00:57:24.420
Ken Krimstein: Well, yes, I mean.
00:57:25.530 --> 00:57:27.870
Ken Krimstein: So the whole topic of Han or rent as a.
00:57:29.580 --> 00:57:40.710
Ken Krimstein: curator cultivator appreciate or story and how ethics may even come out of it, I mean if you look in the book that I really, really liked as men in dark times.
00:57:40.890 --> 00:57:44.550
Ken Krimstein: Which interesting interestingly, two of them are women.
00:57:44.670 --> 00:57:59.400
Ken Krimstein: So you know we're not talking about you know men but i'm sure there's a sprays somewhere in her writing but it's cheese truck stories reveal meaning without committing the error of defining it.
00:57:59.580 --> 00:58:00.120
Samantha Rose Hill: yeah and.
00:58:00.210 --> 00:58:07.770
Ken Krimstein: If you think about that that's why you know I think you know that empowers me because Cinderella isn't just about like oh.
00:58:08.010 --> 00:58:15.810
Ken Krimstein: Well, you know her parents didn't like her and she was misunderstood and we wouldn't be listening to that story 1000 years later, whatever it's about.
00:58:16.560 --> 00:58:34.170
Ken Krimstein: A way to live that and and, in many ways, you know I look at some of her writing and I see it all is poetry um but that's how I read but it's not it's not to me a mistake that arguably probably.
00:58:35.250 --> 00:58:45.120
Ken Krimstein: The greatest America, one of the greatest American poets and critics critics of the last century, and one of the greatest British poets and critics of last century Arden and.
00:58:47.610 --> 00:58:50.430
Ken Krimstein: It will McCarthy and the other guy who wrote the tail gunner.
00:58:52.380 --> 00:58:54.750
Ken Krimstein: The great American poet laureate.
00:58:56.310 --> 00:58:57.060
Samantha Rose Hill: mandrell.
00:58:57.150 --> 00:59:00.030
Ken Krimstein: were really, really recommend.
00:59:01.200 --> 00:59:02.490
Ken Krimstein: Her way of thinking.
00:59:02.790 --> 00:59:12.300
Ken Krimstein: And I think it's it's yeah these are wonderful stories of how we live, but then you find truth and stories and it's hard to define them that's the game that she's playing.
00:59:12.570 --> 00:59:19.110
Samantha Rose Hill: yeah it's about meeting and making meeting and for fun darrelle is one of the people who taught her to write in English.
00:59:19.500 --> 00:59:27.060
Ken Krimstein: that's right yeah general randall Joel an incredible but um this has been an amazing conversation Cindy.
00:59:27.630 --> 00:59:43.680
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Can you, I have one final question for the both of you, I we've had a couple people asked besides your wonderful books are there any other books that you can recommend that people should read to sort of get an introduction to 200 rent and.
00:59:44.880 --> 00:59:46.950
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): You know, but also besides her books, I guess.
00:59:47.430 --> 00:59:59.670
Ken Krimstein: i'll take the easy one, you got to read Elizabeth young girls book I think that's she was her student, it was the major tome and there's a lot of wonderful stuff in there, so I think it was called for the.
00:59:59.940 --> 01:00:00.870
Samantha Rose Hill: love of the world.
01:00:01.110 --> 01:00:08.040
Ken Krimstein: For the love of the world or Monday so that's that's definitely one also works very well as a doorstop if you.
01:00:08.160 --> 01:00:08.610
01:00:12.240 --> 01:00:14.190
Ken Krimstein: I me somewhere Sam what have you got.
01:00:14.940 --> 01:00:18.930
Samantha Rose Hill: So I I didn't interview on this for five bucks and.
01:00:19.290 --> 01:00:30.900
Samantha Rose Hill: And I broke it down into what you're interested So if you want to see artists more poetic side, if you want some beautiful portraits of people who were important to her thinking go for men and dark times.
01:00:31.290 --> 01:00:45.960
Samantha Rose Hill: I think the human condition is the book that's most relevant to our contemporary political situation right now there's a wonderful volume called thinking without bannister also a great doorstop it will.
01:00:46.230 --> 01:00:48.390
Samantha Rose Hill: filed by Jerome Cone hundred artists.
01:00:48.420 --> 01:00:57.150
Samantha Rose Hill: literary sector, and it is a great overview of the all of the key ideas and our events.
01:00:57.810 --> 01:01:19.980
Samantha Rose Hill: Work it really touches on everything from totalitarianism to Marxism to private, public Labor work action freedom, the promise of politics loneliness heidegger American political elections it's all in there it's a great kind of introductory Volume I used for teaching intro to art classes.
01:01:20.850 --> 01:01:28.620
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Well, thank you both so much, this has been such an interesting conversation to listen to i've learned so much i'm sure i'm going to go on and aren't.
01:01:29.160 --> 01:01:40.470
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): very deep dive now and i'd like to thank you all so much for joining us all of you out there, everything we do at the museum is made possible through donor support.
01:01:41.040 --> 01:01:50.460
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): To those of you watching me hope you'll consider making a donation to support the museum or becoming a member and joining us for upcoming programs, one of which will also include Ken.
01:01:51.060 --> 01:01:58.920
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): of which you can check out at the link in the zoom chat so have a great night, and thank you again for joining us, and thank you again to Ken and samantha.
01:01:59.250 --> 01:02:01.290
Samantha Rose Hill: Thank you, thank you Cindy Thank you can.
01:02:01.770 --> 01:02:03.660
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): buy Sam thanks thanks.
The Hannah Arendt Papers at the Library of Congress
Between 1965 and 2000, many of Hannah Arendt’s papers were given to the Library of Congress. Now, the collection is comprised of 25,000 items and 82,597 images. The collection was digitized between 1998 and 2000, but has only recently become available outside of the Library of Congress. You can find the collection of Arendt’s papers on the Library of Congress’ website.
The Letters of Hannah Arendt and Gershom Scholem
Between 1939 and 1963, Hannah Arendt and Gershom Scholem, a leading scholar in Jewish mysticism, exchanged numerous letters debating the responsibility of Jewish intellectuals writing about the Holocaust. In this Museum program, actors Barbara Sukowa and Ken Marks read selections from their correspondence.
Read More About Hannah Arendt
During yesterday’s program, both Ken Krimstein and Samantha Rose Hill suggested additional readings to learn about Hannah Arendt. Ken and Samantha both suggested Hannah Arendt: For the Love of the World by Elisabeth Young-Bruehl. Samantha also suggested The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition by Hannah Arendt, Men in Dark Times by Hannah Arendt, and Thinking Without a Bannister by Hannah Arendt.