Monday, August 09, 2010

Stranger From Abroad

Despite its straightlaced title and its rather difficult subject matter, Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness is a very fine book. I picked it up at the library yesterday, and today I substitute it for Matterhorn as my current reading. (In fact, I haven't read the first paragraph of Matterhorn. I foolishly bought it for a lower price from a "Marketplace" seller on Amazon.com, and two full weeks have passed without its appearing in my mailbox. Sheez.)

Martin Heidegger was a German existentialist philosopher who celebrated the notion that life is "a clearing in dark woods; one comes out of darkness and recedes into darkness." Hannah Arendt was a young Jew  who became his student, his mistress, and his intellectual heir. That was in the 1920s. Heidegger went on to become a devoted Nazi, while Arendt became a philosopher of the Holocaust. An incredible journey of two great minds, wonderfully well told by Daniel Maier-Katkin of Florida State University. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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