The Critical Edition of Hannah Arendt’s Complete Works is a philologically
edition presenting all of Arendt’s published work together with
all the unpublished writings among her posthumous papers, organized into
seventeen thematic complexes. The edition is conceived as a hybrid print
and digital publication. The digital versions will appear a year after their
corresponding print volumes. Sechs Essays. Die verborgene Tradition presents in four sections:
Texts that were published by Arendt follow their original printing, though
obvious typos and misspelling have been corrected. Subsequent reprints she
did not supervise and publications from her archival remains arranged by
executors have on principle not been considered. In constituting typescripts
from her posthumous papers, the editors did not want to obscure their provisional,
working character. Incomplete words, unfinished sentences, grammatical
inconsistencies have been left to the competence of the reader. The
following specific criteria have been followed in the constitution of these
drafts and working papers:
All corrections from Arendt’s hand have been carried out, insertions and
transpositions have been integrated into the corresponding points of the text.
Missing or redundant empty spaces have been rectified. Orthography,
grammar, and typing have not been altered.
The page numbers on the typescripts are recorded together with XML:IDs of the pages in
text boxes that can be activated by mouseover on symbols on the left margins. Where a
page break occurs within a paragraph, its location is marked with “|” in
the text. This facilitates the coordination of these texts with facsimiles
and diplomatic transcriptions, as well as preserving traces of Arendt’s
Commentaries on the individual texts and complexes start with introductory
remarks that describe the occasion and the often quite complicated compositional
history of the work.
The edition is meant to enable readings, not to offer one. Therefore editorial
annotations were kept to matters of fact, and evaluations and interpretations
as far as possible abjured. Since we live in an age of easily accessible
electronic lexica, the text has not been cluttered with identifications available
by a simple online search. Rather, the annotations provide information
derived from editorial research.
Where a reference first appears, we provide complete citations; where it
recurs, the reader is referred back to that original annotation.
Hannah Arendt was an author who peregrinated across languages and
through cultures. In order to present this appropriately, the edition publishes
all of her texts in the language in which they were written. The corresponding
commentary and annotations are also in that language. The orthographic
conventions for German and English texts differ considerably (quotation
marks, dashes, etc.); this edition observes in each case those appropriate
to the language in which Arendt wrote. This holds also for quotations in
the annotations: those in English have the usual English punctuation (“, ”),
other languages use angle brackets (», «). Since the book itself is published
in Germany, the bibliography, the order of texts in the book, etc. conform to
the usual German standards.