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Hannah Arendt: the Art of Reading the Present

A conversation between Fina Birulés and Martine Leibovici


What would Arendt have to say about the present discussion about post-truth and the construction of alternative facts? How can we shape the relationship between political freedom and truth today? Fina Birulés and Martine Leibovici, two authorities on the work of Hannah Arendt, will discuss these questions on the occasion of the launch of the Eudeba and Katz Editores collection “El arte de leer” (The Art of Reading).

If, as Hannah Arendt said, sincerity has never been a virtue of politics, the traditional idea of the lie is no longer sufficient for understanding present-day indifference to reality and the world. When the Pentagon Papers were leaked in the 1970s—a kind of Wikileaks of the day—Hannah Arendt, always attentive to novelty in the course of history, wrote about the relationship between power and truth, and what she said then is totally relevant today. She warned that this was the beginning of a time when the organised lie no longer slyly falsifies reality but does so making no attempt at concealment, exactly as Kafka had described in The Trial when he wrote of, “The lie made into the rule of the world”.

The collection “El arte de leer” (The Art of Reading) explores how renowned authors have read the tradition of thinking by which they are inspired or with which they differ. The two first volumes are devoted to Hannah Arendt and Jacques Rancière.

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