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Reviews1 35 should not be considered as in harmonious company with Laozi in the contemplation of logos or the tad" (p. 29). Furthermore, both of these philosophers and the traditions they represent exhibit a marked suspicion of written speech in favor of a pure "inner speech" that is both immanent and transcendent. Besides offering insightful readings into poets such as Mallarmé and Rilke, Zhang's study may also serve as a concise and accessible introduction to Chinese poetics and poetry. His approach, however, is synchronic rather than diachronic, or he organizes his material thematically rather than historically. Not least among the merits in this strategy is that, while tracing points of commonality between Chinese and Western traditions, he does not collapse important distinctions which separate these traditions. In short, at a time when many critics and theorists have proclaimed the impossibility of cultural comparison, Zhang provides a sensitive and theoretically coherent alternative to the Derridean and poststructuralist hegemony of pure difference. His method is balanced and persuasive, as is his plea for interpretive pluralism and tolerance. Central Oregon Community CollegeChristopher Wise Daimon Life: Heidegger and Life-Philosophy, by David F. Krell; 350 pp. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992, $18.95. The grief reactions which followed the Heidegger and de Man scandals comprise a microgenre of academic discourse in which the rhetorical commonplaces associated with developments in the wider field come close to caricaturing themselves in a kind of amourfou. On the one hand, postmodern philosophy cannot be earnest, else risk seeming "metaphysical"; on the other hand, silence is impossible after Heidegger because it suggests complicity. Irony, self-deprecation, a moving surface of intertextual citation—David Krell offers his readers a smattering of the above, even while pursuing a fundamental line of access to Heidegger's work. It is a compliment to Krell's sense of taste that it is not his style which commands our attention but his intimate rapport with the primary sources of Heidegger's thought and the arguments with which it was engaged in the histories of science, literature, and philosophy. Krell's edition ofHeidegger's Basic Writings, now in a second edition, and his translation of Heidegger's work on Nietzsche, are internationally acclaimed. Back in the late 1960s when Krell was writing his dissertation on Heidegger at Duquesne University, he would have already heard about Heidegger's political 136Philosophy and Literature affiliations. Yet somehow Heidegger's thought (the Seinsfrage) seemed more important than anything else. Today, after reading the biographical research of Hugo Ott and Bernd Martin, David Krell recognizes "a radical failure of thought within the Heideggerian text" (p. 142). Whereas before, Krell assumed Heidegger was coerced into assuming the rectorship at Freiburg, he now understands that he aggressively rose to it in keeping true to his grandiose concepts of leadership and German ontological primacy. More crucially, according to Krell, Heidegger's failure of thought had an inner relation to his longstanding argument with the Lebensphilosophie, or philosophical biology, of Nietzsche, Dilthey, Bergson, Simmel, and Scheler, among others. The originality of these writers undermines their group identity; all the more, then, should one be wary of Heidegger's compulsively antagonistic tendency tojudge them en masse as threatening to animalize Dasein and hence despiritualize existence and the path to Being. To conceive Dasein reductively as life and not as Being would be daimonic, according to Heidegger. Krell follows the deconstructive insights ofDerrida's OfSpiritm showing that while the critique of Lebensphihsophie in Heidegger's mature writing avoids blatantly fascist "blood and soil" motifs, it develops a messianic, tacitly spiritual impetus continuous with National Socialism. For Heidegger, political life and philosophy became complexly entangled in a "militant mission for the nation and under a leader but against the disruptive sensuality of the body, against polymorphous life" (p. 194). Life is daimonic, according to Heidegger; pay it and its suffering ontic masses no heed before the call of Being. Such an orientation of thought was perhaps more dangerous than arguments of simple blood and soil rootedness. For Heidegger's philosophy became, in its aversion to life philosophies, a truly deathboundform of thought, over against the figures of natality and Bergsonian renewal in the writings of Hannah Arendt...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 135-136
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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