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Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Martin & Hannah: The movie!

Simon Blackburn writes a screenplay — er, book review — about Martin Heidegger and Hannah Arendt:

Autumn, 1925 

Wide shot: the little university town of Marburg an der Lahn. November. Gables, students, frothy steins of beer, oompah band. Julie Andrews, mountains in the background, Marty Feldman, peasants. Cut to a book-lined, wood-paneled, dimly lit room: 

Martin (Russell Crowe, professorial, mustachioed, monocled, wedding ring, looking up from an old volume of Hölderlin, pulling up his lederhosen): You have lost your "disquiet," which means you have found the way to your innermost, purest feminine essence. Someday you will understand and be grateful—not to me—that this visit to my "office hour" was the decisive step back from the path toward the terrible solitude of academic research, which only man can endure—and then only when he has been given the burden, as well as the frenzy, of being productive. 

Hannah (Scarlett Johansson, in braids, fiery, intense, ready for more): Perhaps this change from longing to fear brought about by the destructive desire for power, this slavish-tyrannical self-violation, might seem clearer, more comprehensible when one considers that, at least in part, an age that was so depraved and hopeless also created opportunities for monstrousness, all the more as a naturally fastidious and cultivated taste more fiercely and consciously resisted the loud, extreme, and desperate efforts of an art, literature, and culture that were basely and mindlessly pursuing their illusory existence in extravagance that verged on shamelessness. 

(Then softly, to herself: I can do it, too!) 

Martin: The demonic struck me! The silent prayer of your beloved hands and your shining brow enveloped it in womanly transfiguration. Nothing like it has ever happened to me.... You saucy wood-nymph! 

Hannah: Whooeee!  

Dissolve to gathering war clouds. Hannah flees to New York. Martin in uniform makes Nazi speeches. Stock footage: kaleidoscope of Hitler, tanks, bombs, concentration camps, D-Day, ruined cities. Hannah's wedding (to the one person in the story who comes out of it with decency intact). 

Ah, philosophers in love! ("Lights! Camera! Being!" Simon Blackburn, The New Republic 2.23.04, sub req'd)

Copyright © 2004 by Philocrites | Posted 17 February 2004 at 9:23 PM

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February 18, 2004 10:38 PM | Permalink for this comment

This is probably the reviewer's erratum, not yours, but it is Hoelderlein.

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