The Schmooze

A Jewish Philosopher’s Love, Loss and Solace

The German Jewish philosopher Ernst Bloch (1885–1977), not to be confused with the Swiss Jewish composer Ernest Bloch, is still remembered for such landmark books as “The Spirit of Utopia,” “The Principle of Hope,” and “The Utopian Function of Art and Literature: Selected Essays.”

As a philosopher, Bloch was influenced by Karl Marx and G. W. F. Hegel, although he was also drawn to novelist Karl May, a German creator of tales for children about the American West. Although Bloch cultivated friendships with the Hungarian Jewish philosopher Georg Lukács (born Löwinger György Bernát), Kurt Weill and Theodor Adorno, little of a personal nature was known about him by readers until 1978, when Suhrkamp Verlag published a collection of intimate jottings written after the death of his first wife Else in 1921.

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A Jewish Philosopher’s Love, Loss and Solace

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