A biography of a Jewish woman, a writer who hosted a literary and political salon in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Germany, written by one of the twentieth century's most prominent intellectuals, Hannah Arendt.Rahel Varnhagen: The Life of a Jewish Woman was Hannah Arendt&’s first book, largely completed when she went into exile from Germany in 1933, though not published until the 1950s. It is the biography of a remarkable, complicated, passionate woman, and an important figure in German romanticism. Rahel Varnhagen also bore the burdens of being an unusual woman in a man&’s world and an assimilated Jew in Germany.She was, Arendt writes, &“neither beautiful nor attractive . . . and possessed no talents with which to employ her extraordinary intelligence and passionate originality.&” Arendt sets out to tell the story of Rahel&’s life as Rahel might have told it and, in doing so, to reveal the way in which assimilation defined one person&’s destiny. On her deathbed Rahel is reported to have said, &“The thing which all my life seemed to me the greatest shame, which was the misery and misfortune of my life—having been born a Jewess—this I should on no account now wish to have missed.&” Only because she had remained both a Jew and a pariah, Arendt observes, &“did she find a place in the history of European humanity.&”
- 1957 the Hannah Arendt Bluecher Literary Trust
- Book Quality:
- New York Review Books
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- Biographies and Memoirs, Nonfiction,
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- This is a copyrighted book.
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