Hannah Arendt’s Literature


The significant role of literary texts in Hannah Arendt's theoretical writings has received far too little attention. Poetry influenced and formed her political and philosophical theories aimed at revealing ideologically masked truths; in her "Denktagebuch" (Diary of Thoughts), she claims one can only expect the truth from poets, not philosophers. In her theoretical writings, Hannah Arendt constantly made references to literature and poetry, and even wrote a series of biographical essays on important writers and poets. Very few people know, however, that Hannah Arendt wrote her own poetry both in German and English. The philosopher was a friend and confidant to many writers, some of whom immortalized her as a literary figure in the books she herself encouraged them to write. The films, video recordings, radio excerpts, photos, letters and manuscripts in this exhibition presented Hannah Arendt as a literature lover and expert, a poet, friend and muse to other writers, and a literary figure herself.

Curators: Barbara Hahn, Marie Luise Knott
Participants: Ernst Wilhelm Händler, Dževad Karahasan (BIH/A), Kathrin Röggla, Anson Rabinbach (USA), Herta Müller, Michail Ryklin (RUS), Rüdiger Safranski, Axel Honneth, Hans Joachim Schädlich, Thomas Wild, Juli Zeh, and others


Literaturhaus Berlin
Ernest Wichner

Fasanenstraße 23

10719 Berlin