#35 / Editorial

The start of the French new editorial season was marked by publishing house Cahier de l’Herne’s release of a volume devoted to Hannah Arendt. For the occasion, K, in partnership with Akadem, looks back at the Jewish dimensions of the life and work of a major intellectual figure of the second half of the 20th century and author of a plethora of works. Arendtian theories of anti-Semitism, the relationship of the political philosopher to Zionism, but also questions about her links with Heidegger, Avishag Zafrani converses about all this with the philosophers Martine Leibovici and Aurore Mréjen, editors of this important publication. These different subjects affect the disposition from which we read today Arendt’s great “enigmatic” work. Central in Arendt’s thought, as much as in the philosophy that has been produced since Auschwitz, the question of responsibility for the Holocaust also comes up in these discussions.

The same theme, in another mode, emerges from Sam Sussman’s short story, which K. has the great pleasure to publish this week. Winner of the prestigious BAFTA New Writing Contest and the Oxford Review of Books Short Fiction Prize, this promising young author is still unknown in continental Europe, which is the setting for much of his fiction. “In the Palace” tells the story of an American Jewish student visiting Germany whose affair with a haughty Berlin student leads him back to the traces of a family history swept away by the Holocaust.

Finally, after last month’s Italian municipal elections, K. reprises its interview with Tobia Zevi. A candidate for mayor of Rome, Zevi eventually withdrew from the race before being appointed by the new mayor, Roberto Gualtieri, to the post of deputy mayor in charge of heritage and housing policies.​​ This is a key position from which he will be able to embody the Jewish voice whose history and stakes in Italian public life he detailed a few months ago.

Hannah Arendt is one of the major intellectual figures of the 20th century. A volume of the prestigious ‘Cahiers de l’Herne’ devoted to Arendt has just been published in French.  The volume introduces the French public to writings that had not been published in their language and invites all of us to discover new facets of Hannah Arendt, political theorist, committed thinker of her time, and Jewish intellectual. Avishag Zafrani, for K and Akadem, spoke with the philosophers Martine Leibovici and Aurore Mréjen who edited this publication. They discuss Arendt’s links with Heidegger, her reflections on political anti-Semitism, her relationship to Zionism…

“As her fingers gripped my skin I was already packing my belongings in the Oranienstraße studio, finding a cheap flight across the channel that Hitler failed to cross, and sitting down at my desk in Oxford to make sense of this comedy of errors. But I knew that even after I slipped from Christine’s life she and Ingrid and Klaus would always be able to say, “Oh yes, Christine dated a nice Jewish boy once…” I could not let her possess me as an object as fastidiously placed as the tea cups and history books in her apartment.”

A century after the death of Ernesto Nathan, Rome’s historic mayor (1907-1913), another Jewish politician had entered earlier this year the battle to lead the Italian capital: Tobia Zevi, who…

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