Year: 2000 Source: Philosophy and Social Criticism, v.26, no.5, (2000), p.1-27 SIEC No: 20050401

This article focuses on the political ‘effect’ that Hannah Arendt wished to achieve with her ‘old-fashioned storytelling.’ It is argued that she inherited her concept of the ‘redemptive power of narrative’ from Walter Benjamin. An attempt is made here to determine the amplitude & meaning of their connection. It is argued that for both Arendt & Benjamin, the purpose of their fragmented writing style was not to commemorate the dead, but to show their absence & invisibility. It is suggested that both Arendt & Benjamin held the conviction that stories had the capacity to save the world. Arendt’s reaction to Benjamin’s death by suicide is explored.