The Seth Benardete Papers

My “Straussian” days may be over, but I still remain peripherally interested in what goes on in the land of Leo Strauss scholarship. That interest is also extended to a handful of Strauss’s students, particularly the late classicist Seth Benardete. Words like “cryptic,” “obscure,” “challenging,” and “eccentric” fail to do justice to the labyrinthine complexity of Benardete’s thought as expressed through his formal written works. Now for the first time researchers and continuing students of Benardete’s work can begin accessing online a treasure trove of Benardete’s reading notes, written lectures, jottings, early essay drafts, and so forth through the New School’s Digital Archive. While not everything is available online (yet) and some categories of the Benardete papers remain restricted (e.g., correspondence with persons still living), you can get a full account of the archive, including links to the digital material, in the “Benardete Papers: Collection Guide” file. I will admit that his handwriting and note-taking style presents some challenges, but there are some fascinating finds among the collection, including Benardete’s notes on the New Testament.