Eric Schliesser comments on two recent articles by Mark Lilla in NYRB, Lilla writes about Von Trotta’s Hannah Arendt biopic and about Lanzmann’s latest documentary “The Last of the Unjust”. Both Lilla’s articles and Schliesser’s comment are worth reading. Schliesser poses an important question: “Is to be at home in our world a desirable end?”
Can we say that this world is not home without succumbing to some kind of religious escapism?
To be human is to be homeless? Intuitively I would answer yes, but I can see the risks of this statement. The mood is maudlin, the evening is romantic; metaphysical homelessness becomes a matter of good taste.
But still, much of modern literature is an elaboration of profound human homelessness. If we take literature seriously we should take our homelessness seriously.
Read Lilla’s first article here.
Read Lilla’s second article here.
Read Schliesser’s comment here.
(I believe that Lilla is too harsh on Von Trotta, as Schliesser rightly points out: sentimental journeys are not by definition unacceptable.
See also here.)