World(less) Jews: A Note on Hannah Arendt’s Descriptions of The World, Worldlessness, and Jewishness

Reading through a 1964 interview between Hannah Arendt and Gunter Gaus, I was struck by Arendt’s responses to Gaus regarding the question as to whether or not Jews were apolitical and worldless.  Gaus was prompted to ask these questions because of Arendt’s comments on her relationship to the “Jewish people.”  With this in mind, Gaus […]

Chronicles of Smallness, or Becoming “Infrathin” in the Digital World

Translating Charles Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin’s notion of the flaneur into the language of the digital world, Kenneth Goldsmith argues that the flaneur “is hardwired into the ethos of the Internet”(65, Wasting Time on the Internet).    We are, like the flanuer, constantly “browsing.” But as we do we become smaller and less noticeable.   Goldsmith, drawing […]

“Unhappy Dualism” or Simplicity: On Gershom Scholem’s Readings of Marranos, Sabbatians, and Hasidim

Duplicity and complexity were of great concern to Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, and Gershom Scholem. In her book on Rahel Varnhagen, Arendt takes aim at Jean-Jacques Rousseau as encouraging duplicity. She saw, in his work, a conflict between the private life and the public life. His confessions maintained this division and complexity. This came in […]