cover of book
 

Foreplay: Hannah Arendt, the Two Adornos, and Walter Benjamin
by Carl Djerassi
University of Wisconsin Press, 2011
eISBN: 978-0-299-28333-9 | Paper: 978-0-299-28334-6
Library of Congress Classification PS3554.J47F67 2011
Dewey Decimal Classification 812.54

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ABOUT THIS BOOK

Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, and Theodor W. Adorno were intellectual giants of the first half of the twentieth century. The drama Foreplay explores their deeply human and psychologically intriguing private lives, focusing on professional and personal jealousies, the mutual dislike of Theodor Adorno and Hannah Arendt, the association between Walter Benjamin and Georges Bataille, and the border between erotica and pornography.


            Djerassi’s extensive biographical research brings to light many fascinating details revealed in the dialogues among the characters, including Adorno’s obsession with his dreams, Benjamin’s admiration for Franz Kafka, and the intimate correspondence between Gretel Adorno and Walter Benjamin. The introduction of a fictitious character, Fräulein X, intensifies the complex interplay among the four lead protagonists and allows for a comparison of Adorno’s philandering and the similar behavior of Martin Heidegger, whose affair with Hannah Arendt is well known. Foreplay brims with intrigue and the friction created when strong personalities clash.

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