Hannah Arendt is so modern that one of the academic disputes about her at
present is whether she should be classified amongst the moderns or the
‘postmoderns’, an issue which probably puts her at the borderline of our
knowledge and understanding, or rather, beyond it.1 She was not a religiously
practising Jew: the first letter she wrote to an old Jewish friend,
Gertrud Jaspers, after the war, speaks about sending some bacon, with
detailed instructions on how to cook it – and somewhat significantly, she
adds ‘I’ve forgotten the German word for it, the hell with it’.