2016年4月11日 星期一

《漢娜鄂蘭》Hannah Arendt by Derwent May 黃怡譯, Vita Activa,

Vita Activa

Review: Hannah Arendt - The Human Condition | The ...


The vita activa, or active life, is necessarily distinguished by what has been more popular ... Labour is defined as the biological process of the human body, and ...

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‪#‎Arendt‬’s thinking.Vita Activa opens as would an argumentative essay, announcing its thesis on three imageless black and white slides. The film begins with a definition of Arendt’s phrase “The banality of evil.” Ushpiz then offers catalogue of major Arendtian themes, arguing that her insights into “the prevalence of totalitarian elements in non-totalitarian regimes,” “the danger of ideology, any ideology,” “the need for pluralism,” and “the banality of evil” are deeply relevant in the world today.”
While the film features interviews with renowned scholars, the overwhelming majority of the film is dedicated to Arendt’s words. Long segments show Arendt speaking in television and radio interviews. When Arendt’s recorded voice is unavailable, the Canadian actress Allison Darcy gives voice to Arendt’s writing; in more than 30 extended quotations, Darcy reads Arendt’s sentences, quoting Arendt in extended arguments about refugees, totalitarianism, ideology, and evil.
It is a testament to the power of Arendt’s ideas that a documentary based on her words can both achieve a major theatrical release and receive critical acclaim. New York Times critic A.O. Scott, who calls the movie “a vigorous and thoughtful new documentary,” highlights two of the film’s main theses. First, he notes that Ushpiz rightly situates totalitarianism amidst the rise of imperialism, the challenges to nation states, and emergence of refugees in Europe after WWI. Second, he writes that Ushpiz highlights Arendt’s argument that central to the totalitarian form of government is a preference for a “lying world of consistency [that] is more adequate to the needs of the human mind than reality itself.”
The fictional nature of totalitarianism is a response to the homelessness, rootlessness, and loneliness of modern society. Friedrich Nietzsche famously remarked that man can bear any pain and suffering so long as he believes that suffering is for a purpose. Arendt saw the modern world as deprived of the traditional and religious verities that give individuals purpose. Without a sense of meaning, modern mass individuals are particularly susceptible to lying worlds of consistency, the offering of fantasies that give purpose to their complicated, messy, and senseless realities. For Arendt, totalitarianism provides a fictional identity so that individuals can escape the tragedy of their lonely lives.
The masses follow ideologues, Arendt writes, “not because they are stupid or wicked, but because in the general disaster this escape grants them a minimum of self-respect.” The genius of Nazi propaganda about the Jews, she argues, was that it gave Germans a self-definition and Identity. Nazi ideology
“gave the masses of atomized, undefinable, unstable and futile individuals a means of self-definition and identification which not only restored some of the self-respect they had formerly derived from their function in society, but also created a kind of spurious stability which made them better candidates for an organization.”
The powerful need to believe in the ideology of a movement to secure self-respect goes a long way to explaining Arendt’s understanding of Adolf Eichmann (it also can help explain in part the passionate movements driving the support for both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders). Eichmann came from a middle class family that fell on hard times after WWI. He was a lost soul. Seeking firm ground, Eichmann joined various secret societies and movements throughout the early 1930s. The fact that he eventually found his sense of purpose and pride in the Nazi party was less a matter of ideological conviction than a product of circumstance. Surely, he would not have succeeded as a Nazi without a base level of anti-Semitism; but it was not anti-Semitism that made Eichmann a Nazi. It was the combination of a deeply felt human need for meaning, provided in this case by an ideological movement, along with a thoughtlessness that allowed Eichmann to fully internalize the lying world the Nazi’s created.
Ushpiz highlights Arendt’s complicated understanding of totalitarianism as a lying world. In one extended quotation in the film, we hear these words attributed to Arendt:
“Before they seize power and establish their world according to their doctrine, totalitarian movements conjure up a false ideological and consistent world. Which is more in tune with the needs of the human mind than reality itself…What the masses refused to recognize is the random nature of reality. They’re predisposed to all ideologies because they explain facts as mere laws and eliminate coincidences and spontaneity by inventing an all-embracing omnipotence, which is supposed to be at the root of every accident. Totalitarian propaganda and ideology thrives on this escape from reality into fiction, from coincidence into consistency, logic is its core.”....

Isaiah Berlin thought Hannah Arendt was one of the most overrated thinkers of the 20th century. He predicted her mild fa…

#Why does Ushpiz reorder Arendt’s sentences without alerting us to the change? Why does she change “fortuitousness” to “random nature”? And why does she change Arendt’s phrase “totalitarian movements conjure up a lying world of consistency” — one of the most iconic and felicitous of Arendt’s many quotable aphorisms — to read “totalitarian movements conjure up a false ideological and consistent world”?
Ushpiz had an editor go over Arendt’s text to make it read better, to simplify it, to make it more accessible to a film audience. Doing so would be understandable in a fictional film, but it is dishonest in a documentary. Still, we might wish to excuse these changes as minor. Do they change the meaning of what Arendt says? Not materially. And, yet, we should worry about these changes for two reasons.


『執筆之時,正值德國哲學家漢娜•鄂蘭(Hannah Arendt)的108歲誕辰,我在佔領的旺角街頭中看過有人貼起印著她頭像的宣傳單張,粗略地闡釋了她最為著名的「平庸之惡」這個概念。然而,她在《黑暗時代的人們》中,曾經寫過這段話︰

Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt

Paperback, 144 pages
Published September 2nd 1986 by Penguin Books 
《漢娜鄂蘭》黃怡譯, 台北:聯經,1990
 這本書我90年代末讀過,因為我習慣將精彩部分折頁. 不過 ,現在多忘記了. 或許受 I. Berlin 對她的評價之影響,我沒深入她的著作---過去十年,她的作品多已有翻譯本了. 2013年,更有她的電影,所以大家經常談她
2013.5 我把她與人弄成一詞條:  Gershom Scholem A Life in Letters, 1914-1982 / Han...
 Gershom Scholem A Life in Letters, 1914-1982 / Hannah Arendt: “the banality of evil.”

漢娜鄂蘭23歲博士論文是雅斯培指導的《奧古斯丁愛的概念》16. (後來,漢娜鄂蘭是其師之遺囑執行人,生命末期整理過其師之書信110......)
Arendt wrote about love in her book The Human condition when she fell in love with Heidegger who was her professor.

Karl Jaspers死後,終生和他通信的學生輩和摯友鄂蘭(Hannah Arendt)在瑞士的追悼會上讀出以下一段的文字。

 ‘Love, although it is one of the rarest occurrences in human lives, possesses an unequalled power of self- revelation and an unequalled clarity for the disclosure of who, precisely because it is unconcerned to the point of total unworldliness with what the loved person may be, with his qualities and shortcomings no less than with his achievements, failing and transgressions…Love, by its very nature, is unworldly, and it is for this reason that it is not only apolitical but anti-political, perhaps the most powerful of all anti-political human forces.’