- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
Ships in 1 to 3 days
This title in other editions
The Double Life of Paul de Manby Evelyn Barish
Synopses & Reviews
In 2014, the first three volumes of Heidegger’s Black Notebooks—the personal and philosophical notebooks that he kept during the war years—were published in Germany. These notebooks provide the first textual evidence of anti-Semitism in Heidegger’s philosophy, not simply in passing remarks, but as incorporated into his philosophical and political thinking itself. In Heidegger and the Myth of a Jewish World Conspiracy, Peter Trawny, the editor of those notebooks, offers the first evaluation of Heidegger’s philosophical project in light of the Black Notebooks.
While Heidegger’s affiliation with National Socialism is well known, the anti-Semitic dimension of that engagement could not be fully told until now. Trawny traces Heidegger’s development of a grand “narrative” of the history of being, the “being-historical thinking” at the center of Heidegger’s work after Being and Time. Two of the protagonists of this narrative are well known to Heidegger’s readers: the Greeks and the Germans. The world-historical antagonist of this narrative, however, has remained hitherto undisclosed: the Jews, or, more specifically, “world Judaism.” As Trawny shows, world Judaism emerges as a racialized, destructive, and technological threat to the German homeland, indeed, to any homeland whatsoever. Trawny pinpoints recurrent, anti-Semitic themes in the Notebooks, including Heidegger’s adoption of crude cultural stereotypes, his assigning of racial reasons to philosophical decisions (even undermining his Jewish teacher, Edmund Husserl), his endorsement of a Jewish “world conspiracy,” and his first published remarks on the extermination camps and gas chambers (under the troubling aegis of a Jewish “self-annihilation”). Trawny concludes with a thoughtful meditation on how Heidegger’s achievements might still be valued despite these horrifying facets. Unflinching and systematic, this is one of the most important assessments of one of the most important philosophers in our history.
An explosive biography, decades in the making, reveals the secret past of the academic who held an entire generation in his thrall.
A landmark biography that reveals the secret past of one of the most influential academics of the twentieth century.
Over thirty years after his death in 1983, Paul de Man, a hugely charismatic intellectual who created with deconstruction an ideology so pervasive that it threatened to topple the very foundations of literature, remains a haunting and still largely unexamined figure. Deeply influential, de Man and his theory-driven philosophy were so dominant that his passing received front-page coverage, suggesting that a cult hero, if not intellectual rock star, had met an untimely end.
Thirty years after his death in 1983, Yale University professor Paul de Man remains a haunting figure. The Nazi collaborator and chameleon-like intellectual created with Deconstruction a literary movement so pervasive that it threatened to topple the very foundation of literature and history itself. The revelation in 1988 that de Man had written a collaborationist and anti-Semitic article led to his intellectual downfall, yet biographer Evelyn Barish apprehended that nothing appeared to contextualize the life he assiduously sought to conceal. Relying on archival research and hundreds of interviews, Barish evokes figures such as Mary McCarthy, Elizabeth Hardwick, and Jacques Derrida. Reexamining de Man’s life, particularly in prewar Europe and his reincarnation in postwar America, she reveals, among other things, his embezzlement schemes, his lack of an undergraduate degree, and his bigamous marriage. The life of the man who despised narrative, particularly biography, finally is revealed in depth in this searching portrait of Paul de Man and his era. 8 pages of photographs
About the Author
Evelyn Barish is a professor at City University of New York's Graduate Center and its College of Staten Island, and the author of Emerson:The Roots of Prophecy, for which she won the Christian Gauss Award. She lives in New York City.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Biography » Philosophers