Sigrid Weigel: Discovering a Fascinating Author. Introduction into the Life and Work of Susan Taubes
WOMEN IN EXILE
Villa Aurora and the Feuchtwanger Memorial Library at University of Southern California present:
- Discovering a Fascinating Author. Introduction into the Life and Work of Susan Taubes by Sigrid Weigel (ZfL)
- Reading Susan Taubes’ and Jacob Taubes’ Correspondence (1950–1952) by Karola Raimond and Christoph Dostal
To engage with the works of Susan Taubes means to discover a fascinating author whose life reveals disruptions that are paradigmatic for many 20th-century Jewish intellectuals. Born in Budapest in 1928, she immigrated to the USA in 1939 with her father (the psychoanalyst Sándor Feldman). She studied in France, Israel, and in the USA, where she was part of the academic and artistic avant-garde of the 1950s and 1960s.
It was not until her suicide in 1969 that she became known as an author with her novel Divorcing (1969), and only recently have her literary remains been made available in an edition initiated by Sigrid Weigel.
The correspondence with Jacob Taubes covers the years immediately following their marriage. During this time the philosophy student and the young philosopher of religion were separated geographically: Susan studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, while Jacob was teaching at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The letters vividly document how the twenty-four-year-old’s intellectual life was beginning to gain certain contours. They tell of her work on theological elements in Heidegger’s thought, her critical fascination with Simone Weil’s writings, and her occupation with Albert Camus’ existential philosophy. Moreover, the letters reveal theoretical and personal points of contention between the married couple. Many of these debates revolved around their different relationships towards Judaism and clashing views on the combination of religion and politics; the newly established State of Israel then served as the stage upon which these tensions played out.