Martin Heidegger at the Limits of Poetics
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Fordham University Press
Title Page, Copyright
Note on the text
To set up a limit is a dual gesture, at once instituting difference and indicating a point of contact. Martin Heidegger’s critique of the discipline of poetics, a recurrent feature throughout his long engagement with poetry, is just such a gesture. On the one hand, he claims that his own readings of poems or...
For the First Time
In the introductory remarks to his lecture series on Friedrich Hölderlin’s late hymns “Germanien” and “Der Rhein,” the fi rst he gave on Hölderlin’s poetry, Heidegger discusses the opening lines of “Germanien” and their form: “Th e form of the poem provides no particular diffi culties. Th e meter does not follow the model of any conventional genre. A poem without...
The Naming Power of the Word
In “Th e Origin of the Work of Art,” Heidegger situates the earth in the “work-material” of the artwork: “the massiveness and heaviness of the stone, . . . the fi rmness and fl exibility of the wood, . . . the lightening and darkening of color . . . the ringing of sound, and the naming power of the word” (OBT 24/35). Th at Heidegger should place “the word” last...
Given the prominence Heidegger accords to poetry throughout a Gesamtausgabe that now extends to 102 volumes, his discussions of figurative language are, at first glance, most conspicuous for their scarcity. Metaphor in particular is dismissed over four lapidary and categorical pronouncements. If this might be taken to demonstrate that Heidegger was simply...
Reading Heidegger Reading
Ever since Max Kommerell described an essay of Heidegger’s on Hölderlin’s “Andenken” as “a productive train-wreck” (ein productives Eisenbahn- Unglück),1 Heidegger’s readings of poetry have been subject to a critical skepticism bordering at times on outrage. To an extent this is unsurprising and even, one feels—in the light of his contempt for “the history of literature...
At the end of the last chapter I observed that Heidegger’s readings of poetry are not exegeses but preservations, and moreover, that these preservations become genuine encounters with the poems they read only when they are themselves unable to gauge the shape of this encounter. This led to a paradoxical situation in which Heidegger’s readings are most compelling when...