On Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition

This is the opening paragraph of W. H. Auden’s review of The Human Condition (which was reprinted in Arthur Krystal’s compilation A Company of Readers): “The normal consequence of having read a book with admiration and enjoyment is a desire that others should share one’s feelings. There are, however, if I can judge from myself, occasional exceptions to this rule. Every now and then, I come across a book which gives me the impression of having been especially written for me. In the case of a work of art, the author seems to have created a world for which I have been waiting all my life; in the case of a ‘think’ book, it seems to answer precisely those questions which I have been putting myself. My attitude toward such a book, therefore, is one of jealous possessiveness. I don’t want anybody else to read it; I want to keep it all to myself. Miss Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition belongs to this small and select class; the only other member which, like hers, is concerned with historical-political matters, is Rosenstock-Hussey’s Out of Revolution.”

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2 Responses to “On Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition”

  1. James G. March « Says:

    […] « On Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition […]

  2. Nitzan Says:

    David Grossman’s “Someone to Run With” seems to take place precisely in Jerusalem of my adolescence; not only in the actual place and the period, but the inner space in which I grew from a child to an adult. Reading this book was like going into a hypnotic state in which distant forgotten memories came alive with textured, emotional detail. It was one of the most remarkable 24 hours in my life, but I have dared not read it again.

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