Letter from a Young Giorgio Agamben to Hannah Arendt

Italian critical theorist Giorgio Agamben’s affinity for Hannah Arendt is no secret. His work in “Homo Sacer” is heavily inspired by Arendt. The plight of homo sacer, who could not be sacrificed yet could be killed by anyone, closely resembled that of Arendt’s sans papiers (without papers) who existed in a bureaucratic no-place.

In this letter, dated Feb. 21st, 1970, a young Agamben writes to Arendt to thank her for her work. Agamben also enclosed an essay he wrote on violence.

Although  the 27-year-old Agamben published his first book, “The Man Without Content,” the same year, it would be another 25 years until Agamben wrote “Homo Sacer.”

agamben arendt letter

[Found on Reddit]

  • Areopagitican

    This is awesome!

  • truemoboy

    Is “wright” an Italian thing?

    • Critical Theory

      It’s clearly just a mistake written by someone who is not a native English speaker.

  • Dr. Mortis

    Did she respond?

  • Elanissa

    Was the essay on violence he sent to Arendt ever published?