W. H. Auden on The Human Condition

W. H. Auden on Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition: “The normal consequence of having read a book with admiration and enjoyment is a desire that others should share one’s feelings. There are, however, if I can judge from myself, occasional exceptions to this rule. Every now and then, I come across a book which gives me the impression of having been especially written for me. In the case of a work of art, the author seems to have created a world for which I have been waiting all my life; in the case of a ‘think’ book, it seems to answer precisely those questions which I have been putting myself. My attitude toward such a book, therefore, is one of jealous possessiveness. I don’t want anybody else to read it; I want to keep it all to myself. Miss Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition belongs to this small and select class; the only other member which, like hers, is concerned with historical-political matters, is Rosenstock-Hussey’s Out of Revolution.” (In Arthur Krystal’s A Company of Readers)