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The Breakdown of Discourse: Post-Holocaust Jewish Identity and the Scholem-Arendt Exchange

Kaposi, David (2017). The Breakdown of Discourse: Post-Holocaust Jewish Identity and the Scholem-Arendt Exchange. European Journal of Jewish Studies (Early access).

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1163/1872471X-12341297
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Abstract

This article examines the significance of the private-public exchange of letters between Gershom Scholem and Hannah Arendt in the wake of the Eichmann trial. Using rhetorical analysis, it considers the respective arguments concerning Jewish responsibility, the incompatible political-moral frameworks offered to underpin such judgments, and the extreme identities the correspondents construct for each other. In doing so, it identifies the ultimate significance of the exchange with the total breakdown of discourse it symbolically resulted in—in other words, with the consensus pertaining to the Holocaust leading to a complete incommensurability of the respective political-moral positions. Such a state of affairs is finally accounted for, paradoxically, in terms of the far-reaching agreement between Arendt and Scholem, reaching beyond politics and even identity: the total inescapability of Jewishness.

Item Type: Journal Item
ISSN: 1025-9996
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Psychology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 49315
Depositing User: David Kaposi
Date Deposited: 02 May 2017 15:44
Last Modified: 03 May 2017 05:03
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/49315
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