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A life in transit

Susan Taubes: An Intellectual Biography
Forfatter: Christina Pareigis
Forlag: Wallstein Verlag, (Tyskland)
TRAUMA: The biography of the Judeo-Hungarian philosopher and author Susan Taubes depicts life, thought and work intricately intertwined with the historical trauma of the 20th century – and experiences of rootlessness.


Biographies of philosophers and writers are always faced with the challenge of how to describe the relationship between life and thought, their converging and divergent movements. The belief that thought constitutes "real" life is exemplified in Heidegger's remark that "Aristotle was born, worked, and died," or in Hannah Arendt's rhetorical question "Where are we when we think?" Nowhere! ». At the same time, there are – especially in the "short" 20th century – historical events that use violence against the apparent identity and historical autarchy of such thinking. Rather than being an eternally platonic world of ideas, Arendt's statement "nowhere" can also be read as meaning that thinking in the face of historical atrocities and experiences of rootlessness will necessarily have to be decentralized.

Examples of the decentralized and fragmented can be found in Taube's novel Divorce (1969), released a week before her. . .

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Lukas Lehner
Freelance writer.

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