"Time exists only insofar as it can be measured, and the yardstick by which we measure it is space.
Where is the space located that permits us to measure time? For Augustine the answer is:
in our memory where things are being stored up. Memory, the storehouse of time, (...)
Extract from Hannah Arendt’s PHD dissertation - Love and Saint Augustine- (1926-1928), Heidelberg.
Hannah Arendt, philosopher and writer, lived in Heidelberg from 1925 to 1928 when she was doing her Phd in the University of Heidelberg. Her director of thesis was the philosopher Karl Jaspers. He resisted and opposed to the nazism even if he was dismissed of the university, condemned to an inner exile in his house in heidelberg. Hannah Arendt must leave to the USA to flee from nazisM persecution in may 1941, teaching there political philosophy in several universities.
Jasper's house is still in Heidelberg, close to university of heidelberg, plock.
Hannah Arendt "FOUR WALLS"
Hannah Arendt's HOUSE wAS also closer to university of heidelberg, SCHlOSSBERG, 16.
she lived close to the old path leading to the castle, just some meters further from the library of university of heidelberg. But now there's only an empty space and the walls of her former house. she came to heidelberg in 1926, after her rupture with heidegger. she wrote her phd dissertation, -love and saint augustine- from 1926 until 1928, under supervision of karl jaspers, professor of philosophy of university of heidelberg.
SHe must flee to paris, engaging there in resistence. in may 1941, she went to exile to usa. The first essay published is "We refugees.1943", her major book "the origins of totalitarianism" was published in 1951.
Exile was for Arendt not only a forced flight from space, but also from time. Her house was destroyed later, after war, i don't know the reasons, but the walls are still there. These broken “four walls” of Arendt’s house find an echo in Arendt’s thoughts related to political courage. Particularly, the “four walls” are a metaphor used by the philosopher to talk between the dichotomy between ublic and private space and what we leave behind. To leave behind “the four walls” is to leave behind in terms of space and time, this private security and comfort of an own's house to engage in public commitment and resistance in world. Being Courage then a particular concept where there’s an ethical and political coincidence for Arendt:
“It requires courage even to leave the protective security of our four walls and enter the public realm, not because of particular dangers which may lie in wait for us, but because we have arrived in a realm where the concern for life has lost its validity. Courage liberates men from their worry about life for the freedom of the world. Courage is indispensable because in politics not life but the world is at stake".
karl jaspers lived an inner exile in his house in heidelberg, plock. after denying collaboration with nazism, he was dismissed from university and lived expecting the final knock in the door, closed in the middle of a city and a time turning into nazism.
hannah arendt's walk become impossible.
now, nature grows in the slots of arendt's former house. green leaves, trees, sounds of birds are there, in the place where the philosopher studied years ago. Is enough. no other memorial or monument is necessary. Maybe the better memory from this silent years is the silence, like an empty space to think about.
(wenders wrote that the empty space of berlin were more eloquent than buildings)
Project:Hannah Arendt's walk
phd thesis 2018-2021 (in progress): "george orwell and hannah arendt. chronicle, dystopia, memory"
department of philosophy, contemporary aesthetics. autonomous university of barcelona.
I'm working now in this artistic research project about the walk made by Hannah Arendt from her former house until university in Heidelberg, and the emptiness of her house.