Div­ing for Pearls: A Think­ing Jour­ney with Han­nah Arendt

  • From the Publisher
May 22, 2014

Kath­leen B. Jones brings a schol­ar’s insights and a lyri­cal voice to this philo­soph­i­cal mem­oir about her thir­ty-year fas­ci­na­tion with Han­nah Arendt, one of the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry’s most con­tro­ver­sial Jew­ish polit­i­cal thinkers. With Arendt as her guide, Jones recounts sto­ries from her own life inter­wo­ven with reflec­tions about Arendt’s life and work, demon­strat­ing Arendt’s endur­ing rel­e­vance to think­ing about the mean­ing of Jew­ish iden­ti­ty and the per­plex­i­ties of mod­ern life. Com­posed as a fugue of sto­ries about respon­si­bil­i­ty and for­give­ness, iden­ti­ty and belong­ing, Div­ing for Pearls opens into ever-widen­ing cir­cles of rela­tion­ships — inti­mate love, par­ent­hood, friend­ship, sex­u­al­i­ty, and pol­i­tics — car­ry­ing the read­er into the depths of a con­tem­po­rary Jew­ish wom­an’s strug­gle to grap­ple with dif­fi­cult ques­tions about how to live an engaged life. Incor­po­rat­ing new mate­r­i­al from the archives of both Elz­bi­eta Ettinger and those of Arendt’s biog­ra­ph­er, Elis­a­beth Young-Bruehl, Div­ing for Pearls sheds new light on Arendt as a per­son and as a Jew. The result is a lit­er­ary mem­oir at once inti­mate and philosophical.

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