Babette Babich on the books that inspired her

At the LSE blog, Babette Babich discusses the books that inspired her – wide-ranging and fascinating reading.

Babette Babich is an American philosopher known for her studies of Nietzsche, Heidegger, Adorno, and Hölderlin as well as for her work in aesthetics, including music, philosophy of music, the history of ancient Greek sculpture, and continental philosophy, especially continental philosophy of science and technology. Here she discusses the books that shaped who she is as a scholar, and recalls time spent as an impoverished student in the depths of libraries.

Books tell us the time of our lives in curiously intriguing ways, and represent a kind of ‘archaeology of the everyday’ of days past and promised days to come (those would be the books we collect in order ‘to read,’ as the Germans like to say, ‘by the fireplace, on long winter evenings’). And if I think this timing of a life in books holds true for everyone in Western culture, whether or not one tells oneself that one likes books, it is especially true for academics.

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