Author: Murrey, Lucas
Date published: January 1, 2011
Donner un sens plus pur aux mots de la tribu.
- Stéphane Mallarmé, "Le tombeau d'Edgar Poe" (1898)
The End of Philosophy and Science?
Do our words do justice to the things they represent? That they seek to form relations that resist time is clear. How else could the name "rose" relate to an actual rose if not through a time-resisting correspondence with which the discrete individuals of a community are all familiar? When someone speaks of a "rose," we tend to know what she is saying. If the relation holding the name and the thing together capsized upon time's destructive waters, then the familiarity that belongs to this relation would capsize as well. When someone spoke the name "rose," the beauty of the flower would retreat into tragic silence.
But how are we to understand the correspondence at the heart of the name and the thing it represents? For Heidegger, this relation can be traced back to philosophy's search for the eternal. By penetrating the essence of a thing, he claims in Being and Time, the philosopher seeks a timeless correspondence between "die 'Erlebnisse' der Seele, die noémata ('Vorstellungen')" ("the soul's 'experiences', the noémata ['Representations']")1 and the things ("die Dinge"). The unchanging relation that arises through the similarity ("Angleichung") of the things and the soul's representations, otherwise known as the truth that binds subjects and objects to one another, forms the essence of philosophical investigation. As Aquinas 's well-known definition declares, "Truth is the adequation of the thing and the understanding."2
After Being and Time, Heidegger continued, and elaborated, his critique of philosophy. In the "Letter on Humanism" from 1946, it appears as a threshold between thinking and science. The timeless "logic" of truthful assertions arose "at the time when thinking [Denken] was becoming 'philosophy', philosophy episteme [science (Wissenschaft)]."3 Because science unknowingly takes up philosophy's presumptuous projection of the eternal, its explorations break off before the real essences of things. The scientific understanding of the body ("Leib") fails to touch upon the essence of the human being ("das Wesen des Menschen") to which it belongs.4 The essence (Wesen) of nature recoils before "atomic energy."5
Philosophy is understood as the site of a dual movement. As the place where science arises, it is the place where its own origin - thinking - fades.6 While science articulates its objects and subjects, philosophy, which Heidegger names the technical interpretation of thinking ("die technische Auslegung des Denkens"), beginning with Plato and Aristode,7 calcifies into a metaphysically conceived essentia whose descent he traces through medieval philosophy up to Descartes, Leibniz, Kant, and, most recently, Sartre.8 The abrupt three-word sentence at the beginning of The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking from 1964 - "Philosophy is metaphysics"9 - is hardly surprising. Regardless of what one thinks of the philosopher's dismissal of his own discipline, he himself took it seriously. In an interview from 17 September 1969, Heidegger accentuates the significance of this talk:
In 1964, 1 gave a lecture in Paris, one that I myself did not deliver, that was given in French translation, under the title "The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking (Aufgabe des Denkens)." I make therefore a distinction between philosophy, i.e., metaphysics, and thinking as I understand it. This thinking is in essence much easier than philosophy, but in execution much more difficult.10
The Death of God
Heidegger's critique of the timeless essentia at the center of philosophy and science cannot be separated from his critique of religion. Let me return to his deconstruction of truth in Being and Time:
Both the contention that there are "eternal truths (ewige Wahrheiten)" and the jumbling together of Dasein's phenomenally grounded "ideality" with an idealized absolute subject, belong to those residues of Christian theology within philosophical problematics which have not as yet been radically extruded (ausgetrieben).11
Less than one year after he had written these lines, Heidegger himself sought to radically extrude the residues of Christian theology within philosophical problematics. In a lecture delivered in the spring of 1927, "Phenomenology and Theology," he claims that the Christian "believer does not know and never knows" anything about his "specific existence."12 Similar to a philosopher or scientist who subjects herself to a timeless truth, the Dasein of the Christian becomes a slave (Knecht), is "brought before God . . . and reborn."13 Here we turn to a critical, if well-known, definition of belief: "Luther says: * Faith is the imprisonment of oneself (das Sichgefangengeben) in the things we cannot see [Sehen] .'"14
The slavery that accompanies the Christian belief in the crucified ("Gekreuzigten")15 is inseparable from the slavery that accompanies Judaism. During a summer semester lecture course in 1935, Heidegger offers a trenchant, if brief, exegesis of the word. The logos of the New Testament signifies the son of God ("den Sohn Gottes") as the mediator between God and humans ("der Mittler zwischen Gott und den Menschen") .16 But Christ as the mediator of the divine logos points to still another mediator:
This New Testament representation [Vorstellung] of logos is that of the Jewish philosophy of religion which was developed by Philo, in whose doctrine of creation logos is determined as the messites, the mediator.17
Here a relation is drawn between the word of the New Testament and Jewish theology. Heidegger invites his listeners to wonder in what way the logos of the Christian is the logos of the Jew? Anticipating the question, he proceeds to explain what motivated Philo to see the word as the mediator between God and man:
Because logos in the Greek translation of the Old Testament (Septuagint) is the term for word, "word" in the particular meaning of an order [Befehl], a commandment [Gebot]; oi dékalógoi are the ten commandments of God (Dekalog). Thus logos means: the kéruz, aggelo, the messenger [Künder] , the emissary [Bote] who transmits commandments and orders.18
Here the relation between Christianity and Judaism is startlingly simple. The Holy Spirit and stone tablets both gesture to a heavenly, and therefore timeless, essentia. As we might expect, the theological digression concludes with a return to the earthly, Dionysian spirit of archaic Greece: "A world separates all this from Heraclitus."19
Because the logos of "eternal life" and the assertion of philosophers and scientists say the same, the ontological groundlessness of one tradition comes to function as the mediator, so to speak, of the other. For the Judeo-Christian, Heidegger tells us in the "Letter on Humanism," " [t]he human being (Mensch) is not of this world, since the 'world', thought in terms of Platonic theory, is only a temporary passage to the beyond [nur ein vorübergehender Durchgang zum Here the implicit representation of a world ruled by a timeless, and decidedly male, God is thought (gedacht) through philosophy's representation of aplace beyond time. Both representations represent a mortal's misplaced faith in timelessness.
Technology, Grammar, Visuality
The metaphysical essentia of philosophy, science, andJudeo-Christianity culminates in modern technology. Here the philosophical and theological human yield to what Heidegger names the technological human ("der Mensch der Technik") whose lifestyle ("Plan ens und Handelns")21 succumbs to the domination of subjectivity ("der Herrschaft der Subjektivität") and the absolute objectifi cation of everything ("die unbedingte Vergegenständlichung von allem").22 This is most clearly seen in language ("Sprache") that falls
into the service of expediting communication along routes where objectification - the uniform accessibility of everything to everyone - branches out and disregards all limits. In this way language comes under the dictatorship of the public realm, which decides in advance what is intelligible and what must be rejected as unintelligible.
[in dem Dienst des Vermitteins der Verkehrswege, auf denen sich die Vergegenständlichung als die gleichförmige Zugänglichkeit von Allem für Alle unter Mißachtung jeder Grenze ausbreitet. So kommt die Sprache unter die Diktatur der Öffentlichkeit. Diese entscheidet im voraus, was verständlich ist und was als unverständlich verworfen werden muß.]23
But Heidegger's thinking remains ambivalent about the precise origin of modern linguistic "subjects" and "objects." As we have just seen, the scientific view of language grows out of philosophy and alongside theology. On the other hand, the emergence of a technological view of language seems to coincide with the emergence of timeless essentia itself. Thus we find Heidegger speaking of the "ancient traditional language of metaphysics and its grammar."24 From "early on," he argues, the form ("Gestalt") of Occidental "logic" and "grammar" "seized control (bemächtigt) of the interpretation of language."25 Here we return to "the construction (Bau) of the simple declarative sentence (Aussagesatzes); specifically, "the joining (Verknüpfung) of subject and predicate"26 that appears already in the later 1935-36 version of "The Origin of the Work of Art." For Heidegger, the question is whether or not the grammar that Greek philosophy initiated and that governs a technological life-world does justice to the structure of the things it seeks to reflect. If not, then our experiences would be reduced to ghostly projections of inauthentic gramma ti cal s caff ol ding . 27
Heidegger's exploration of the timeless essentia that belongs to the modern sentence structure coincides with his exploration of what he calls the Age of the World Picture ("Die Zeit des Weltbildes"). Similar to its oppressive demand of linguistic clarity, science demands that reality be defined as that which can be analyzed into discrete elements and joined together into a picture. Once again, in turning to the origin of our present predicament, what we might call the eye oftechnicity, Heidegger returns to the emergence of metaphysics, in particular the visuality lurking within Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy.
The protracted investigation of Plato's concept of truth after Being and Time - here I am thinking of the two lecture courses, "Vom Wesen der Wahrheit" ("On the Essence of Truth") and "Zu Platons Höhlengleichnis und Theätet" (On Plato's Allegory of the Cave and the Theaetetus) from 1930, and "Platons Lehre von der Wahrheit" (Plato's Doctrine of Truth) from 1931-32 and 194028 - culminates in Heidegger's critique of something like the philosopher's visual unconscious as the origin of our present state:
[T] he beingness of beings (Seiendheit des Seienden) is determined for Plato as eidos (appearance [Aussehen], view [Anblick]), and this determines since antiquity, concealed and mediated in a ruling presumption, that the world must become an image (daß die Welt zum Bild werden muß).29
By drawing our attention to the Greek word eidos, Heidegger invites us to question the visual accent of Plato's language when he initiates, through the figure of Socrates, the timeless place to which the souls (psychai) in truth belong.30 Calling Simmias's attention to the essence of similarity, Socrates says, "Suppose that when you see (idòn) something you say to yourself, this thing which I can see (horôn) has a tendency to be like something else."31 Does not the shape of the ear recall the seashell's helix? But the appeal to a place beyond destructive time occurs not only through an appeal to the way we seem to have knowledge of things before our experience of them.32 It is also an appeal to the eyes: "Is it not through Plato that the being of beings (das Sein des Seienden) is fully grasped (begriffen) as the visible (das Angeschaute), the idea?"33 For Heidegger, the essence of Plato's philosophical legacy, what Karsten Harries names "perennial Platonism,"34 is caught up in a secret dependency on vision.
The excavation of the Occident's visual unconscious continues as we turn to the philosophy of Plato's student: "Is not, for Aristotle, the relation to beings (Bezug zum Seienden) as such theorta, the pure looking (das reine Schauen)?"35 Here Heidegger is thinking about the first book of the Metaphysics.36 In his affliction for knowledge, man values his senses, and most especially that which reveals itself through the eyes, dia ton ommáton?1 This invites us to ask, In what way is the philosophical voyage that begins in "wonder"38 and ends with the initiation of the timeless essentia that predicates a singular, male ruler of a communal body39 secretly tied to the ruling sense of the body? How are we to understand the visual unconscious inscribed into what John McCumber calls "ousia" ontology?40
"Into the nameless"
But if Heidegger disembarks from the familiar shores of philosophy, science, Judeo-Christianity, technology, grammar, and visuali ty, where does he go? Upon what sea does he set sail? Following the Greek-inspired concept of "world" that assigns persons and things to their proper places in Being and Time and the 1928 summer semester course, "The Metaphysical Foundations (Anfangsgründe) of Logic,"41 we see an unprecedented move away from clarity and visibility. In "The Origin of the Work of Art," we find Heidegger speaking of "the silent call of the earth (verschwiegener Zuruf der Erde), its silent gift of the ripening grain (ihr stilles Verschenken des reifenden Korns) [and] its unexplained self-refusal in the wintry field (unerklärtes Sichversagen in der öden Brache des winterlichen Feldes)."42 Here we have our first glimpse into the radicality of Heideggerian thought. The understanding that announces itself in these two lines is at once extraordinary and peculiar. It is, in the language of Harries, "more like tasting or smelling than like clearly seeing what is before one's eyes."43
Heidegger's evocation of earth's silence is inseparable from his evocation of the nameless. Just before his tentative rhetorical return to "the element" that gives the roots of the tree of philosophy its nourishing juices and strength ("nährenden Säfte und Kräfte") in 1949,44 he places the following admonishment, in the "Letter on Humanism" from 1946, before his French addressee: "But if the human [Mensch] is to find his way once again into the nearness of being (Nähe des Seins) he must first learn to exist in the nameless (im Namenlosen)."45 Just a few years after his discussion of the unnamed, earthly element in 1949, we come across Heidegger explaining, in "A Dialogue on Language" ("Aus einem Gespräch von der Sprache"), that he abandoned the name phenomenology "to allow my path of thinking into the nameless" ("um meinen Denkweg im Namenlosen zu lassen)."46
The discovery of earth's silence and namelessness is linked to the discovery of language. Just before his November lecture on "The Origin of the Work of Art" in 1935, Heidegger's experimental model of being brushed up against a new relation to names. In what may have been a quiet, if still public, atmosphere during his first university lectures on Friedrich Hölderlin in the winter semester of 1934-35, we find the following assertion:
The primordial origin of language as the essential ground of the human being remains a secret (Der ursprungliche Ursprung der Sprache als des Wesensgrundes des menschlichen Daseins bleibt aber ein Geheimnis). Particularly when we think, that even there, where 'life' (plant, animal) is, where language does not occur, even if it appears to, as if the speaking animal depended upon eliminating a present hindrance. And still! The leap from the living animal to the speaking human is just as great or still greater than that from the life-less stone to the living.47
Here I would like to draw attention to the similarity between language and the earth. Both are fundamental insofar as both are fundamentally mysterious. The secret of the name and the silence of the earth remain impenetrable.
The turn to language in the early 1930s is gradually connected to the turn to mortality ("Sterblichkeit") in Being and Time. If Hölderlin 's late hymns are a wartime laboratory of sorts where Heidegger can quietly articulate his experimental model of the speaking human being in contrast to the animal - which he names àlogon: a living creature without the word ("ohne das Wort") in his 1942 summer semester lecture course on "The Ister"48 - then his first essays on language following the war provide the place where the name and death begin to gesture to each other. While turning our attention to the human being as the dying one ("Sterbliche") in contrast to the animal ("das Tier") that perishes ("verendet") in "The Thing" ("Das Ding") in 1949,49 he proceeds to point out, one year later in "Language" ("Die Sprache") to the human ("Der Mensch), who, in contrast to plants and animals ("im Unterschied zu Pflanze und Tier"), is the one living essence that speaks while waking and dreaming ("im Wachen und im Traum").50 By the end of the 1950s, in "The Nature of Language" ("Das Wesen der Sprache"), we see the secret of the name and the secret of mortality explicitly woven into each other:
The mortals are (Sterblichen) those who can experience death (Tod) as death. The animal cannot do this. The animal can also not speak. The essential relation between death and language lights up before us, but remains still unthought.51
As Heidegger articulates an axis of namelessness on which the human's unique claim to death, language, and earth turns, a significant problem arises. Having cut his ties to old and new mediators - from the Holy Spirit, stone commandments, Platonic truth to scientific and technological representation - his experimental model is in need of a figure who can mediate its nameless essence. Of course, this had been on Heidegger's mind all along. His search for a godlike figure who would make the new, postmodernword flesh echoes in his evocations of the peasant woman ("die Bäurin") admitted into the silent call of the earth ("eingelassen in den schweigenden Zuruft der Erde) ";52 in his gestures to Antigone closed up in a cave without a bridal hymn;53 and, perhaps most striking, in the cult statue of the Swabian earth goddess who is carried to a lake where her slaves are silently drowned.54
Heidegger as "Name-Creator"
Heidegger's search for a godlike mediator is inseparable from his attraction to National Socialism and Hitler. In this connection, the outline of the hero ("Held") Dasein chooses in Being and Time15 must be read in regard to Heidegger's understanding of "what that passionate seeker of God and last German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, said: 'God is dead.'"56 The gesture to the necessity of a new God in his first public lecture as a Nazi Party member, "The Self-Assertion of the German University" from 27 May 1933 is linked, despite Heidegger's resignation of the Rectorate on 23 April 1934,57 to the lecture course he held on Hölderlin during the 1934-35 Wintersemester. Here three shadowy figures appear: the poet ("der Dichter"), the thinker ("der Denker"), and the politician ("der Staatschöpfer").58 The most striking thing about these three, who "found and preserve the authentic, historical being of a people" ("die eigentliche das geschichtliche Dasein eines Volkes gründen und begründen"),59 is the unlikely spiritual place Heidegger assigns to them. Not simply creators ("Schaffenden") in the usual sense of the word, they are, as the subtitle of Alexander Schwan's trenchant study of Heidegger's political philosophy suggests, demigods ("Halbgötter").60
This becomes clear toward the end of the lecture course when Heidegger highlights, on the one hand, the essence of the river ("Strom") as a nonmetaphorical, and hence literal, demigod ("Halbgott")61 and, on the other hand, the primeval belonging ("ursprunglicher Zugehörigkeit") of the river and poet ("Strom und Dichter") to the essence of being ("zum Wesen des Seyns") .62 The implicit gesture to the poet as a demigod, as well as the implicit gesture to the thinker and politician as demigods, is nowhere denied. When Heidegger declares that the advent of the new world is to be "poetically founded, thoughtfully join ted together and set up in knowing and, through the activity of the politician, rooted in the earth and the historical space" ("dichterisch gestiftet, denkerisch gefügt und ins Wissen gestellt und in der Täterschaft des Staatsgründers der Erde und dem geschichüichen Raum verwurzelt"),63 anyone listening to the lecture carefully can hear the sharp, if peculiar, pressure he places upon the godlike essence of these three figures. Anyone familiar with Hölderlin 's poetry, I would like to further note, stumbles over the clear relationship, if not wholly articulated, between the image "the thinker" paints of demigods and the one that belongs to the work of "the poet." This is something to which I shall return.
Schwan's suggestion that Heidegger's political thinking is caught up in his understanding of the figure of the poet helps us to understand one of the radical moves we see in "The Origin of the Work of Art." As Karsten Harries has recently pointed out,
That ethical, political, and religious claims are here being made for art, that Heidegger here rejects any merely aesthetic approach to art, is evident: Preserving the work does not reduce people to their private experiences ... it grounds being for and with one another.64
The flirtation with the figure of the artist and poet as the one who establishes a community's common sense reappears in Heidegger's 1935 discussion of poets, thinkers, and politicians in The Introduction to Metaphysics. These godlike heroes are destined
as violent men to use power, to become pre-eminent in historical being as creators, as men of action. Pre-eminent in the historical place . . . lonely, strange, and alien . . . without statute and limit, without structure and order, because they as creators must first of all create all this.
[als Gewalt-tätige Gewalt brauchen und Hochragende werden im geshi entliehen Sein als Schaffende, als Täter. Hochragend in der Geschichtsstätte . . . Einsame, Unheimlich . . . ohne Satzung und Grenze, ohne Bau und Fug, weil sie als Schaffende dies alles je erst gründen müssen.]65
Because it remains unclear how we are to think of these heroic mediators - who return, still more esoterically, as the few single ones ("jene wenigen Einzelnen") in Heidegger's Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis)66 (Contributions to Philosophy [Of Occurrence]) in 1936 - it may be premature to decide how these godlike poets, thinkers, and politicians relate to National Socialism. Although one can argue that theoretically Heidegger came to see the leaders of the Third Reich as particularly attuned to a world that looks ever more at all that is, including human beings, as material to be understood and organized,67 just how this philosophical elucidation of nihilism can be read as a form of resistance to a fascist state beyond the classroom remains unclear.
Heidegger's problematic search for godlike leaders springs from his insistence that the absence of the gods in the modern world need not be simply accepted. Whereas he condemns the enslavement of Dasein to aJudeo-Christian God, he seeks, in "The Origin of the Work of Art," what is called the dignity and splendor of the god ("Würde und Glanz des Gottes") .68 Here the divinity in question has unmistakable Greek coloring. Although it remains nameless, Heidegger associates it with the erecting of a building ("die Erstellung eines Bauwerkes"), the setting up of a statue ("die Errichtung eines Standbildes") and, most specifically, the representation of tragedy during the festival ("das Darstellen der Tragödie in der Festfeier") .69 The evocation of tragedy in particular invites us to wonder: Is the dedication and praise ("Weihen und Rühmen")70 that accompany the god into the open of his presence ("das Offene seiner Anwesenheit")71 a celebration of a god like Dionysus? If Heidegger does not say, he does turn our attention to the way this god initiates a human community: "In the reflected glory of this splendor there glows, i.e. there lights up from within itself, what we called the world" ("Im Abglanz dieses Glanzes glänzt, d. h. lichtet sich jenes, was wir die Welt nannten").72 Here the similarity between founding poets, thinkers, and politicians and the god in whose splendor a world glows is striking. Once again, in what way are Heidegger's godlike creators and the spirit that presides over Greek tragedy related?
In the "Letter on Humanism," the search for the divine continues. After elucidating the supersensible being ("übersinnlich Seiende") of Judeo-Christianity, Heidegger highlights the transcendence at the heart of his thinking. "World," he tells us, is "in a certain way precisely the beyond [das Jenseitige] within and for eksistence,"73 with the letter's final image. The inconspicuous furrows ("unscheinbare Furchen") thinking carves ("legt") into language are likened to those "the countryman draws slowly through the field [der Landmann langsamen Schrittes durch das Feld zieht] ."74 Critical here is the multiplicity of reference. On the surface, the rustic picture of a slow-working farmer evokes the provinces of southwest Germany. The evocation of the earth surrounding Heidegger's beloved mountain hut in Todtnauberg evokes also poetic images. Given his turn during the 1942-43 winter semester lecture course, "Parmenides und Heraklit,"75 one is tempted to read the end of the philosopher's 1946 letter in regard to a Homeric image of nameless farmers tilling soft and fallow land that Hephaestus inscribes upon Achilles's shield in Book 18 of the Iliad.
But the Homeric picture of mortals working the earth itself gives way to what we might think of as the symbolic unconscious of the lonely image with which Heidegger's letter leaves us. One familiar with Hölderlin's poetry who reads the last sentence of the "Letter on Humanism," "the countryman draws slowly through the field" ("der Landmann langsamen Schrittes durch das Feld zieht") will hear the first two verses of the poet's late hymn, "As when on a holiday ..." ("Wie wenn am Feiertage . . ."): "Wie wenn am Feiertage, das Feld zu sehn / Ein Landmann geht, ..." (1.1-2) ("As on a holiday, to see the field / A countryman goes out, . . .").76 Heidegger's attraction to this poem, whose episodic appearances in his first public lectures on Hölderlin beginning in 1934 culminate in the lecture, "Wie wenn am Feiertage ..." ("As when on a holiday . . ."), which he repeated in 1939 and 1940 and published in 1941,77 invite us to wonder whether the echo we hear in the final sentence is selfconsciously composed. This places the question before us: Why does Heidegger's first révaluation of Being following the Second World War end with an esoteric gesture to the beginning of Hölderlin 's foundational late hymn?
Similar in tone, the poet's opening strophe paints a scene of muted Dionysian symbols. The passing farmer ("Landmann") appears on a holiday ("Feiertage").78 The cooling lightning flashes ("die kühlenden Blitze") and thunder ("Donner") of the previous night's summer storm yield to the image of a river taking up its recognizable place within the earth: "In sein Gestade wieder tritt der Strom" (1.5) ("The river enters its banks once more").79 The echo of the winegod in the final verses of the opening strophe is explicit: "Und von des Himmels erfreuendem Regen / Der Weinstock trauft. . . . (1.7-8) ("And from heaven's gladdening rain / The grapevine drips. . . ."80 By the time we make our way to the end of the second triadic cycle of strophes, the subdued Dionysian presence of Hölderlin's "first Pindaresque poem"81 that is tied to the French Revolution and Napoleon quietly erupts into a mystical recollection of Dionysus's mythic birth:
So it fell, as the poets say, for she desired
To see the God visible, his lightning upon Semeles house,
And the godly-struck gave birth,
The fruit of lightning, holy Bacchus.
[So fiel, wie Dichter sagen, da sie sichtbar
Den Gott zu sehen begehrte, sein Blitz auf Semeles Haus
Und die göttlichgetroffene gebar,
Die Frucht des Gewitters, den heiligen Bacchus.]
The epiphany of the joyous demigod, nevertheless, is not what is on the poet's mind. Hölderlin quickly turns to witness the epiphany of what the young Max Kommerell, while writing under the influence of the old Stefan George, names "a second Bacchus" ("ein zweiter Bacchus") in his 1928 monograph significantly tided Poet as Leader (Dichter als Führer) :83
But it behooves us, under God's lightning,
You poets! to stand bare-headed beneath
The father's ray, itself, with one's own hand
To touch and, for the people, wrapped
In song, to reach the heavenly gift.
[Doch uns gebührt es, unter Gottes Gewittern,
Ihr Dichter! mit Entblößtem Haupte zu stehen,
Des Vaters Strahl, ihn selbst, mit eigner Hand
Zu fassen und dem Volk ins Lied
Gehüllt die himmlische Gabe zu reichen.]84
But the song tragically breaks off. The poet fails to witness the mystical rebirth of "a second Bacchus" who is, for the young Kommerell, George, and Heidegger, inextricably tied to mystical birth of a German hero in the present. Hölderlin is cast down into a lightless abyss. Karsten Harries reminds us that Heidegger's reading of the poem suspiciously represses the scattered, last pieces of language that together form the warning song ("Das warnende Lied") that the poet, who renames himself "[t] he false priest," sings to the living above.85
To return to Heidegger: How are we to read the culminating gesture to the opening of "As when on a holiday . . ."in the "Letter on Humanism"? Are the inconspicuous furrows that thinking carves into language for the sake of a futural harvest of German heroism? The evocation of Hölderlin 's search for a German godlike spirit of earth suggests that Heidegger had much more on his mind than bucolic neoromanticism. Is the final sentence of the letter of an inconspicuous furrow a gesture to a futural German demigod who will provide us godless moderns with a mystical window through which we might glimpse the otherwordliness ("das Jenseitige") of Being ("Seyn")? Already in 1934, Heidegger associated Dionysus with the primordial unity ("ureigenen Einheit") of Being ("Seyn").86 If opposed to Luther's demand that Dasein imprison itself in ajudeoChristian projection of the things we cannot see ("in den Sachen, die wir nicht sehen"),87 did he not continue in his desire to make himself a prisoner to a new blindness? And did the philosopher not hope that from this experimental dark he might glimpse the mystical epiphany of a new vision? Let us listen to his reflection on the essence of thinking from 1963:
The task of thinking today, as I understand it, is in a way new, it demands a wholly new method of thinking. This method can only be reached through the unmediated conversation of one human with another and through long experimentation and practice of a certain seeing in thinking.
[Die Aufgabe, die dem Denken gestellt heute ist, wie ich es verstehe, ist in einer Weise neu, daß es eine ganz neue Methode des Denkens verlangt. Diese Methode kann nur in unmittelbarem Gespräch von Mensch zu Mensch und durch eine lange Einübung und durch eine Übung, gewissermaßen des Sehens im Denken erreicht werden.] 88
Inseparable from the search for a godlike German hero is the search for a name, specifically, the right word ("gemäßes Wort"), "within the long-traditional language and grammar of metaphysics."89 Here we come up against Heidegger's understanding of occidental groundlessness ("Bodenlosigkeit"), which he associates with the movement of language from Greece to Rome: "Roman thinking takes over the Greek words without the corresponding and equiprimordial experience (gleichursprüngliche Erfahrung) of what they say (sagen), without the Greek word."90 Like the bright lines that appear in a photograph developing in emulsion, the metaphysical impulses in words such as upoketmenon, hupóstasis, and sumbebechos sharpen as they reappear in their Latinate incarnations subjectum, substantia, and accidens, respectively91 Seeking the experience these words once sought to articulate, we are to look beneath the ghostìy lightness enshrouding occidental names for the sake of a new one. As Paul Friedländer suggests, Heidegger's concept of afeitóos illustrates such a gesture.92
But the names we come across in Heidegger's new style of thought - one thinks of Lichtung (clearing)93 and Seyn (the Being above Dasein)94 - are not names in the usual sense. They hang between the literal and figurative. Of particular significance is Ereignis (occurrence) . If this name takes up its central role in Heidegger's thinking no later than 1936 as the counterplay ("Wid erspiel") of earth and world,95 the reinvention of its everyday meaning can be traced back to the summer semester lecture "Towards the Definition of Philosophy" that Heidegger delivered in 1919. Here he distinguishes a mere event, such as an astronomer looking at the rising sun objectively as a natural phenomena, from what he calls an Ereignis: an event to which one belongs and therefore matters, as illustrated by the chorus of Theban elders greeting the sun in Antigone.96
The rebirth of the name, nevertheless, signifies something more than a search. Similar to all of Heidegger's terms, Ereignis gestures to the possibility that the name has come, has become flesh in an experimental sense and one that cannot be reduced to the Pentecost of Christianity or the Shavuot of Judaism. That a spiritual-linguistic epiphany accompanies the creation of the word is suggested by the poetic context to which Heidegger's key word for authentic experience - Ereignis - belongs. When he invokes the tragic chorus greeting the sun, he cites Hölderlin's translation of Sophocles's tragic play.97 That Heidegger turns to the poet's exploration of Greek tragedy is significant because here Hölderlin offers us the unexpected translation of the chorus's name for Dionysus, to whom they cry out in a moment of exceptional tension:
Xo: poluónume98 (1115)
In place of the expected translation "Many-named,"99 Hölderlin translates poluónume as
Chor: Nahmenschöpfer100 (1162)
Here Dionysus is understood as the mystical source of the name. Two strophes later, the preeminent spirit of earth appears as the god who preserves the secret of language:
Xo: . . . nuchion
phthegmáton epískope101 (1145-46)
Ch: . . . of secret
Chor: (...) geheimer
Reden Bewahrer!]102 (1186-97)
Finally, Dionysus here also descends from a mountainous, earthly height:
Xo: . . . Parnassian hupèr klitun . . .103 (1142-43)
Ch: . . . over The hills of Parnassus . . .
Chor: (. . .) über Den Parnassischen Hügel (. . .)]104 (1192-93)
Striking is the similarity between the picture of Dionysus that emerges from Hölderlin 's translation and the godlike German hero Heidegger turns to after 1927. The chorus of Theban elders, in the language of Being and Time, shattering ("zerschnellend") against death ("Tod"), chooses its hero ("sich seinen Helden wählt"),105 who preserves the secret of language ("Geheimnis der Sprache")106 and the silent call of the earth ("der verschwiegene Zuruf der Erde").107 One thinks of grapes ripening under fiery suns.
As we shall see, Heidegger's attraction to Hölderlin 's poetry and translations and to the George Circle that disseminates the first influential picture of this poet informs his thought much more than has been acknowledged. For now, I would like to highlight how one of the names at the heart of his thinking - Ereignis - arises from Hölderlin's translation of tragedy. How are we to understand this? And in what way can we understand the relation between Heidegger and Dionysus? Do they not both create names? And Hölderlin? In renaming Dionysus Nahmenschöpfer is he not a Name-Creator also? If these questions must remain open, we can be clear that, as Heidegger turned to Sophoclean tragedy to revisit the essence of seeing (Sehen), 108 we see a style of vision that is very different from the astronomer's distanced beholding.
The names Heidegger creates belong to a new linguistic universe. Here a grammar appears that is to transcend the inauthentic subject-object relationship.109 Nouns become verbs; verbs become nouns: the nothing nothings ("das Nichts nichtet"), the world worlds ("die Welt weitet"), the thing things ("das Ding dingt"), the time times ("die Zeit zeitigt"), and the space spaces ("der Raum räumt"), to give just a few of the endless examples.110 One of the most striking plays, the essence essences ("das Wesen west"), disrupts the timeless essentia unknowingly inscribed into the modern world's projection of common sense. Within this lonely, strange, and alien landscape, without statute and limit, without structure and order ("ohne Satzung und Grenze, ohne Bau und Fug"),111 new concepts arise. The strife between the earth and world of the "Origin of the Work of Art" gives way to later talk of the fourfold ("das Geviert"): mortals and immortals ("Sterblichen und Unsterblichen"), earth and heaven ("Erde und Himmel") .m Tides such as "Thoughted" ("Gedachtes"), which both evokes and resists the evocation of the German word for poem (das Gedicht), gesture to new genres.113 New places open up. We find ourselves wandering along what Heidegger names the neighborhood of poetry and thinking ("die Nachbarschaft von Dichten und Denken").114 Under these roofless concepts, tides, and places, we see a flowering of words whose broken bodies hang upon hyphens: through a-stonishing ("Er-staunen") and conjecturing ("Er-ahnen"),115 the ex-istence ("Ek-sistenz")116 of the human succeeds beyond the en-framing ("Ge-stell")117 of modernity to the coming-forth (Her-vor-bringen)118 of the world-moving-saying ("das Welt-bewëgende Sage").119 Excavating deeper than philosophy, whose name names metaphysics, the thinking of the future, the most experimental concept of all, "gathers language in the simple saying" ("sammelt die Sprache in das einfache Sagen").120
Shipwreck: "The Lack of Sacred Names"
But Heidegger's voyage to a new name capsized. Let me return to his discussion of thinking from the autumn of 1969: "This thinking (Denken) is in its way much easier than philosophy, but in its execution much more difficult, and demands a new carefulness of language (eine neue Sorgfalt der Sprache), not the invention of new terms, as I once thought."121 Here Heidegger condemns the creation of names. How are we to understand this? That the seas upon which he set sail were turbulent is clear. His attempt to musicalize philosophical discourse in Being and Time through a turn to "intonation, modulation, the tempo of talk, 'the way of speaking'" ("Tonfall, der Modulation, im Tempo der Rede, 'in der Art des Sprechens'")122 culminates in a finally not successful attempt to say the truth of Being as Ereignis in The Contribution to Philosophy from 1936.123 The failure of this work, which Heidegger calls a "Fuge," a name that signifies both fugue and joint, yields to the linguistic apocalypse discussed in the "Letter on Humanism." Here the rise of a technological life-world composed of endlessly distributed "subjects" and "objects" is linked to what is named the quickly growing devastation of language ("rash fortwuchernde Veröderung der Sprache") and its threat to the essence of the human being ("Gefährdung des Wesen des Menschen") .124 This Statement can be read alongside "Sprache und Heimat" ("Language and Home"), the lecture Heidegger delivered on 2 July 1960. Here the message is strikingly similar: "Language does not exist. More carefully said: language, in the sense of a general, understandable, and binding world-language, does not yet exist" ("Die Sprache gibt es nicht. Vorsichtiger gesagt: Die Sprache im Sinne der allgemein verständlichen und allein verbindlichen Weltsprachen gibt es noch nicht").125 In a sense, this is to be expected. Had not the ghostly lightness of the Last God ("Der Letzte Gott") who haunts the Contributions to Philosophy become all the more unbearably light by the time Heidegger gave the interview to Der Spiegel in 1966? And was not this God,
The wholly Other One against
Those who had been, and especially against
The Christian One
[Der ganz Andere gegen
Die Gewesenen, zumal gegen
the one who could save us,127 the precondition of a new binding world-language?
But the assertion of 1969 is different. Here Heidegger not only gestures to the absence of language and the divine but also condemns himself. As we have just seen, his thinking never hesitated to create new terms. Now Heidegger draws a relation between the absence of the godlike name that would mediate the nameless mystery of language, death, and place, and the violence implicit in a forced name and ideal. This invites us to wonder in what way Heidegger's thinking facilitated the quickly growing devastation of language ("rash fortwuchernde Veröderung der Sprache") and its threat to the essence of the human being ("Gefährdung des Wesen des Menschen").
Heidegger ended his life, and work, by being true to the absence of names. A few years after his insight that thinking demands a new carefulness of language, we stumble across his question from 1972,
When will words become
[Wann werden Wörter
wieder Wort?] 128
Two years later, in 1974, he turns to Hölderlin. After invoking a verse from the last strophe of "Homecoming" ("Heimkunft") - "lacking in names that are holy" ("es fehlen heilige Nahmen")129 - Heidegger leaves us with the esoteric reflection: a "look" ("Einblick") into the peculiarity of this "missing" ("in das eigentümliche dieses 'Fehls'") would reveal how, in a misplaced way ("auf eine verstellte Weise"), the absence of the name rules ("waltet") in the technological age ("das technologische Weltalter").130
But the "look" never came. As the tones that arise from the selections of Hölderlin's poetry he assigned to be read at his burial suggest, Heidegger's departure from this world was marked by the absence of names that are holy:
But the thrones, where are they? Where are the temples, the vessels,
Where, to delight the gods, brim-full with nectar, the songs?
Where, then, where do they shine, the oracles winged for far targets?
Delphi's asleep, and where now is great fate to be heard?
[Aber die Thronen, wo? die Tempel, und wo die Gefäße,
Wo mit Nectar gefüllt, Göttern zu Lust der Gesang?
Wo, wo leuchten sie denn, die fernhintreffenden Spruche
Delphi Schlummert und wo tönet das große Gechik?]131
If Heidegger's thinking must be read in regard to the discontinuity between the creation of names and the realization that such creating is premature, then one of the most striking things about his thought is its continuity. As we have seen, Hölderlin 's poems gave him a sense of the un timeliness of creating names in his final years. But as we have also seen, Heidegger initiated his attempt to realize new names through Hölderlin's translations of Greek tragedy, as witnessed in his turn to the chorus of Theban elders while elucidating the essence of Ereignis in 1919. This invites us to wonder how we are to understand the tragic spirit of Hölderlin's poetry as the source of Heidegger's heroic search for a name, as well as the tragic failure to found and preserve such a word. That he himself understood the significance of the poet to the spirit of his work is clear: "My thinking stands in an unavoidable relation to Hölderlin's poetry" ("Mein Denken steht in einem unumgänglichen Bezug zur Dichtung Hölderlins") .132 But in what way is the tragic spirit of Hölderlin's poetry related to Heidegger's tragic voyage to a name that would interpret the namelessness of death, language, and earth?
1 Martin Heidegger, Sein und Zeit (1927), vol. 2 of Gesamtausgabe, ed. FriedrichWilhelm von Herrmann (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1977), 285; and Bang and Time, trans. John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson (New York: Harper 8c Row, 1962), 257.
2. Thomas Aquinas, Quaestiones disputatae de ventate [Disputed Questions on Truth] , qu. 1, art. 1, in De ventate et Quaestiones cuodlibetales, vol. 2 of Sancii Thomae Aquinatis, Quaestiones disputatae cum quolibetis, ed. R. R Joannis Nicolai (Parma: Fiaccadori, 1859), 5.
3 Martin Heidegger, "Brief über den 'Humanismus'" (1946), in Wegmarken, vol. 9 of Gesamtausgabe, ed. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1976), 354; and "Letter on Humanism," trans. Frank A. Capuzzi, in Pathmarks, ed. William McNeil (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 239-76, quotation on 269.
4 Ibid., 324.
6 Ibid., 354.
7 Ibid., 315.
8 Ibid., 328, 331.
9 Martin Heidegger, "Das Ende der Philosophie und die Aufgabe des Denkens" (1964), in Zur Sache des Denkens, vol. 14 of Gesamtausgabe, ed. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 2007), 69.
10. Martin Heidegger, Vom Weg-Charakter Philosophischen Denkens, Geschichtliche Kontexte und menschliche Kontakte, ed. Richard Wisser (Würzburg: Verlag Königshausen 8c Neumann, 1998), 447. All translations are mine unless otherwise noted.
11. Heidegger, Sein und Zeit, 303-4; and Being and Time, 272.
12. Martin Heidegger, "Phänomenologie und Theologie" (1927), in Wegmarken (see note 3), 53.
14 Ibid. For a standard translation, see Martin Heidegger, "Phenomenology and Theology," trans. James G. Hart and John C. Maraldo, in McNeil, Pathmarks (see note 3): "Luther said, 'Faith is permitting ourselves to be seized by the things we do not see'" (44).
15 Heidegger, "Phänomenologie und Theologie," 54.
16. Martin Heidegger, Einführung in die Metaphysik (1935) , vol. 40 of Gesamtausgabe, ed. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1983), 143.
17. Martin Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics (1935), trans. Gregory Fried and Richard Polt (1953; repr., New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000), 143.
18. Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics, 143, translation amended; and Heidegger, Einführung in die Metaphysik, 143.
20. Heidegger, "Brief über den 'Humanismus, '" 320; and "Letter on Humanism," 244.
21. Heidegger, "Brief über den 'Humanismus,'" 353.
22. Ibid., 317.
23. Ibid.; and Heidegger, "Letter on Humanism," 242.
24. Heidegger, "Brief über den 'Humanismus,'" 334; and "Letter on Humanism": "[L]ong traditional-language and grammar of metaphysics" (254).
25. Heidegger, "Brief über den 'Humanismus,'" 314; and "Letter on Humanism," 240.
26. Martin Heidegger, "Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes" (1935-36), in Holzwege, vol. 5 of Gesamtausgabe, ed. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1977), 8.
28. Martin Heidegger, "Vom Wesen der Wahrheit" (1930) and "Piatons Lehre der Wahrheit" (1931-32), in Wegmarken, ed. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1976), 177-202 and 203-38, respectively.
29. Martin Heidegger, "Die Zeit des Weltbildes" (1938), in Holzwege (see note 26), 91.
30. Plato, Phaedo, 76c, in Piatonis opera, ed. E. A. Duke et al. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), 119.
31. Plato, Phaedo, 74d, in Platonis opera (see note 30), 116.
32. Plato, Phaedo, 74e, in Platonis opera (see note 30), 116-17.
33. Heidegger, "Die Zeit des Weltbildes," 102; and Heidegger, Off the Beaten Track, trans. Julian Young and Kenneth Haynes (Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 78.
34. Karsten Harries, The Ethical Function of Architecture (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997), 229.
35. Heidegger, "Die Zeit des Weltbildes," 102-3. For a standard translation, see Heidegger, Off the Beaten Track: "Is not the relation to beings as such, for Aristotle, pure looking?" (78).
36. Aristotle, Metaphysics, 1.980a24, in Aristotelis Metaphysica, ed. Werner Jaeger (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1957), 1.
37. Ibid., 1.982M2.
38. Ibid., 12.1076a.
39 Aristotle, Politics, Book 1, 1254a, 29-33, in Aristoteles Politica, ed. William David Ross (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1957), 6.
40 John McCumber, Reshaping Reason: Toward a New Phibsophy (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005), 100.
41.Martin Heidegger, Metaphysische Anfangsgründe der Logik im Ausgang von Leibniz, ed. Klaus Held, vol. 26 of Gesamtausgabe, ed. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1978), 218-38.
42. Heidegger, "Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes," 19; and Off the Beaten Track, 14.
43. Karsten Harries, Art Matters: A Critical Commentary on Heidegger's "The Origin of the Work of Art, "Contributions to Phenomenology 57 (New York: Springer, 2009), 116.
44. Martin Heidegger, "Einleitung zu 'Was ist Metaphysik?'" (1943), in Wegmarken (see note 3), 365.
45. Heidegger, "Brief über den 'Humanismus, '" 319; and "Letter on Humanism," 243.
46. Martin Heidegger, "Aus einem Gespräch von der Sprache" (1953-54), in Unterwegs zur Sprache, vol. 12 of Gesamtausgabe, ed. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1985), 114.
47. Martin Heidegger, Hölderlins Hymnen "Germanien " und "Der Rhein " (1 934-35) , vol. 39 of Gesamtausgabe, ed. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1980), 75.
48. Martin Heidegger, Hölderlins Hymne "Der Ister, " vol. 53 of Gesamtausgabe, ed. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1984), 113.
49. Martin Heidegger, "Das Ding" (1950), in Vorträge und Aufsätze, vol. 7 of Gesamtausgabe, ed. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 2000), 180.
50. Martin Heidegger, "Die Sprache" (1950), in Unterwegs zur Sprache (see note 46), 9.
51. Martin Heidegger, "Das Wesen der Sprache" (1957-58), in Unterwegs zur Sprache (see note 46), 205.
52. Heidegger, "Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes," 19.
53. Heidegger, Hölderlins Hymn "Der Ister, "145-48.
54. Ibid., 195-96.
55. Heidegger, Sein und Zeit, 509.
56. Martin Heidegger, "Die Selbstbehauptung der Deutschen Universität" (1933), in Reden und Andere Zeugnisse eines Lebensweges, vol. 16 of Gesamtausgabe, ed. FriedrichWilhelm von Herrmann (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 2000), 111.
57. Hugo Ott, Martin Hadegger: Unterwegs zu seiner Biographie (Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 1988), 238.
58. Martin Heidegger, Hölderlins Hymnen "Germania " und "Der Rhein, "51.
60. Alexander Schwan, Politische Philosophie im Denken Heideggers, um einen "Nachtrag 1988" erweiterte Auflage (1965; repr., Opladen, Germany: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1989), 242.
61. 'Heidegger, Hölderlins Hymnen "Germania" und "Der Rhein, "259.
62. Ibid., 260.
63. Ibid., 120.
64. Harries, Art Matters, 162.
65. Heidegger, Einführung in die Metaphysik, 162. For a standard translation, see Introduction to Metaphysics: "to use violence as violence-doers and become those who rise high in historical Being as creators . . . lonesome, uncanny . . . without ordinance and limit, without structure and fittingness, because they are as creators must first ground all this in each case" (163).
66. Martin Heidegger, Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis) (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1989), 96.
67. Martin Heidegger, "Überwindung der Metaphysik" (1936-46), in Vorträge und Aufsätze (see note 49), 92.
68. Heidegger, "Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes," 30.
69. Ibid., 29-30.
70. Ibid., 30.
73. Heidegger, "Brief über den 'Humanismus,'" 350. For a standard translation, see "Letter on Humanism": "[I] ? a certain sense precisely 'the beyond' within eksistence and for it" (266).
74. Heidegger, "Brief über den 'Humanismus,'" 364; For a standard translation, see "Letter on Humanism": "[T] he farmer, slow of step, draws through the field" (276).
75. Martin Heidegger, Parmenides (1942-43), vol. 54 of Gesamtausgabe, ed. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1982), 30-42, 86-90, 183-207.
76. Friedrich Hölderlin, "Wie wenn am Feiertage ..." (1802), in Sämtliche Werke und Briefe, ed. Jochen Schmidt, vol. 1 (Frankfurt am Main: Deutscher Klassiker Verlag, 1992), 239; and Hölderlin, Poems and Fragments, trans. Michael Hamburger (Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 1980), 373.
77. Heidegger, Hölderlins Hymnen "Germanien" und "Der Rhein, " 30-31, 83-85, 187-91, 253; and Martin Heidegger, "Hölderlin und das Wesen der Dichtung" (1936), 44, and "Wie wenn am Feiertage ..." (1939-40), in Erläuterungen zu Hölderlins Dichtung, vol. 4 of Gesamtausgabe, ed. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1996), 49-77, 203.
78. Hölderlin, "Wie wenn am Feiertage . . . ," 239.
79. Ibid.; and Hölderlin, Poems and Fragments, 463.
81. Bernard Böschenstein, "Hölderlins Ode Dichterb eruf" in Schlüsselgedichte: Deutsche Lyrik durch die Jahrhunderte - Von Walther von der Vogelweide bis Paul Celan, ed. Jattie Enklaar, Hans Ester, and Evelyne Tax (Würzburg: Königshausen 8c Neumann, 2009), 72. Here I would like to note that although the literature on Hölderlin is enormous, Böschenstein is among the few scholars who have carefully illuminated the central significance of Dionysus in Hölderlin's late hymns, specifically from "Wie wenn am Feiertage . . ." to "Andenken." See Bernhard Böschenstein, "Geschehen und Gedächtnis: Hölderlins Hymnen 'Wie wenn am Feiertage . . .' und 'Andenken' - Ein einführender Vortrag," in Le pauvre Holterling: Blätter zur Frankfurter Ausgabe, vol. 7 (Frankfurt am Main: Stroemfeld, 1984), 7-16. Also essential is the work of Christoph Jamme; see his "Hölderlin und das Problem der Metaphysik: Zur Diskussion um 'Andenken,'" Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung 42, no. 4 (1988): 645-65. I am grateful to Böschenstein, who came to Lüneburg and delivered the lecture "Hölderlins Dionysos: Versuch eines Gesamtbildes" on 30 November 2010, at Leuphana Universität. I am also indebted to the insights of Jamme, with whom I participated in the Tagung, "Kunst-Religion-Politik," in Hagen, Germany, during July 2010. Finally, I would like to point out that the rhetoric of mysticism in this piece derives from the fact that the original manuscript page of the translation of Bacchae that Hölderlin undertook just before beginning "Wie wenn am Feiertage ..." shows that the poet explicitly accented the word "mystic." Instead of making his epiphany "to found my secret," as most authoritative editions of Hölderlin falsely suggest, Dionysus makes his epiphany, according to Hölderlin, "to found [his] mystic secrets" ("myste Geheimnisse zu stiften") (Friedrich Hölderlin, Frühe Auf sätze und Übersetzungen, vol. \? oï Sämtliche Werke, ed. Dietrich E. Sattler [Frankfurt am Main: Stroemfeld, Roter Stern, 1991], 628-29) . As the clear and important work of Richard Seaford shows, this is something we might expect, given that Bacchae"is the richest literary source" of Dionysiac mystic initiation (Dionysus: Gods and Heroes of the Ancient World [London: Routledge, 2006], 63). See also his introduction to Euripides's Cyclops, with Introduction and Commentary by Richard Seaford (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984); and "The Fluttering Soul," in Antike Mythen: Methen, Transformationen und Konstruktionen, ed. UeIi Dill and Christine Wade (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2009) , 406-14. 1 am also thankful for the fruitful communications I have had with Seaford.
82. Hölderlin, "Wie wenn am Feiertage . . . ," 240. For a standard translation, see Hölderlin, Poems and Fragments: "So once, the poets tell, when she desired to see / The god in person, visible, did his lightning fall / On Semele's house, and the divinely struck gave birth to / The thunderstorm's fruit, to holy Bacchus" (375).
83. Max Kommereil, Der Dichter als Führer in der deutschen Klassik: Klopstock, Herder, Goethe, Schiller, Jean Paul, Hölderlin, 3rd ed. (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1982), 453.
84. Hölderlin, "Wie wenn am Feiertage . . . ," 240. For a standard translation, see Hölderlin, Poems and Fragments: 'Yet, fellow poets, us it behooves to stand/Bare-headed beneath God's thunderstorms / To grasp the Father's ray, no less, with our own two hands / And, wrapping in song the heavenly gift, / To offer it to the people" (375-76) .
85. Karsten Harries, "The Root of All Evil: Lessons of an Epigram," International Journal of Philosophical Studies 1 , no. 1 (1993): 1-20, quotation on 18; and Hölderlin, "Wie wenn am Feiertage . . . ," 241 . Although he is right to point out that Heidegger represses the tragic silence to which Hölderlin 's search for a Dionysus-inspired German hero succumbs, Harries himself represses Dionysus in Hölderlin's poetry. See his later essay, "The Epochal Threshold and the Classical Ideal: Hölderlin contra Hegel" where he turns to Hölderlin's search to witness the mystical epiphany of "a second Bacchus." Instead of noting the poet's unexpected attempt to rescue the mystical reenactment of the myth of Dionysus' tragic Joyful birth for present day Germany of 1 799-1800, Harries's thoughts curiously turn to familiar Judeo-Christian prophets like John ("The Epochal Threshold and the Classical Ideal: Hölderlin contra Hegel," in The Emergence of German Idealism, ed. Michael Bauer and Daniel O. Dahlstrom [Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1999], 147-75). Harries's understanding of Hölderlin thus belongs to a normalized style of reading the poet that fails to account for what Böschenstein names the "Dionysus-callingforth" (Dionysosvergegenwärtigung), about which "Wie wenn am Feiertage . . ." coalesces ("Geschehen und Gedächtnis," 9). Harries also fails to note that Heidegger's repression of the tragic silence with which "Wie wenn am Feiertage . . ." culminates belongs to a tradition of textual repression that has its source in the first edition of this hymn that appeared in Stefan George's collection of poetry, The Century of Goethe, published in the autumn of 1910 Das Jahrhundert Goethes, 2nd ed., ed. Anton George and Karl Wolfskehl [Berlin: Bondi, 1910], 48-50). That Harries's understanding of Heidegger's Hölderlin is shadowed by such historical superficiality testifies to how most Heidegger scholars have failed to understand how the philosopher's turn to Kunst and Hölderlin for the sake of witnessing the mystical birth of a post-modern German hero is profoundly linked to Stefan George's "secret Germany" ("geheimes Deutschland").
86. Heidegger, Hölderlins Hymnen "Germanien" und "Der Rhein, "189.
87. Heidegger, "Phänomenologie und Theologie," 53.
88. Martin Heidegger, "Aus Gesprächen mit einem Buddhistischen Mönch (Herbst 1963)," in Reden und Andere Zeugnisse (see note 56), 589-93, quotation on 589, emphasis mine.
89. Heidegger, "Brief über den 'Humanismus,'" 334; and "Letter on Humanism," 254.
90. Heidegger, "Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes," 8; and Off the Beaten Track, 6.
92. Paul Friedländer, "Aletheia: A Discussion with Martin Heidegger," in Plato, An Introduction, 2nd ed., trans. Hans Meyerhoff (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1969), 221-29; and Heidegger, Zur Sache des Denkens, 85-87. See also Dorothea Frede, "Stichwort: Wahrheit: Vom aufdeckenden Erschließen zur Offenheit der Lichtung," in Heidegger-Handbuch: Leben-Werk-Wirkung, ed. Dieter Thöma (1961; repr., Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler, 2003), 127-34.
93 Heidegger, "Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes," 40.
94 Heidegger, Beiträge zur Philosophie, 251.
95 Heidegger, "Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes," 31-32.
96 Martin Heidegger, Zur Bestimmung der Philosophie (1919), vols. 56-57 of Gesamtausgabe, ed. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann (Frankfurt am Main, 1987), 74-75, 186.
97 Ibid., 74.
98 Sophocles, Antigone, Sophoclis fabulae, ed. Hugh Lloydjones and Nigel Guy Wilson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990), 228.
99 This is the standard translation in both English and German. See Antigone, The Women ofTrachis, Philoctetes, Oedipus at Cobnus, trans. Hugh Lloydjones (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994), 107; Tragöthen und Fragmente, trans. Wilhelm Willige (Munich: Ernst Heimeran, 1966), 307; and Tragöthen, trans. Wolfgang Schadewal dt (Zurich: Artemis, 1968), 108. Even Emil Staiger's translation of poluónume into "Namenreicher," though attractive in its evocation of a demigod rich in names, does not approach the unexpected meaning that Hölderlin 's gives to this name ( Tragöthen, trans. Emil Staiger [Zurich: Atlantis, 1944], 264).
100. Friedrich Hölderlin, Antigone, in Sämtliche Werke und Briefe (see note 76), 904.
101. Sophocles, Antigone, Sophoclis fabulae, 229.
102. Hölderlin, Antigone, 905.
103. Sophocles, Antigone, Sophoclis fabulae, 229.
104. Hölderlin, Antigone, 905.
105. Heidegger, Sein und Zeit, 509.
106. Heidegger, Hölderlins Hymnen "Germanien" und "Der Rhein, " 75.
107. Heidegger, "Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes," 19.
108. Heidegger, Zur Bestimmung der Philosophie, 75.
109. Heidegger, "Brief über den 'Humanismus,'" 350.
110. For a critical discussion of Heidegger's estrangement of language, see Karsten Harries 's "'Das Ding,' 'Bauen, Wohnen, Denken,' '. . . dichterisch wohnet der Mensch . . .' und andere Texte aus dem Umfeld: Unterwegs zum Geviert," in Heidegger-Handbuch (see note 92), 290-302.
111. Heidegger, Einführung in die Metaphysik, 162.
112. por a discussion of the ambiguity that haunts this concept, see Karsten Harri es's "The Descent of the 'Logos,'" in Transcendental Heidegger, ed. Steven Crowell and Jeff Malpas (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2007), 74-92.
113. Martin Heidegger, Gedachtes, vol. 81 of Gesamtausgabe, ed. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 2007).
114. Heidegger, "Das Wesen der Sprache," 184.
115. Heidegger, Beiträge zur Philosophie, 20.
116. Heidegger, "Brief über den 'Humanismus,'" 350.
117. Martin Heidegger, "Die Frage nach der Technik," in Vorträge und Aufsätze (see note 49), 20.
118. Ibid., 14.
119. Heidegger, "Das Wesen der Sprache," 203.
120. Heidegger, "Brief über den 'Humanismus,'" 364; and "Letter on Humanism," 276.
121. Heiddegger, Vom Weg-Charakter Philosophischen Denkens, 447.
122. Heidegger, Martin, Sein und Zeit, 216; and Bang and Time, 205.
123. Harries, Karsten, introduction to Martin Heidegger: Politics, Art, and Technology, ed. Karsten Harries and Christoph Jamme (New York: Holmes 8c Meier, 1994), xi.
124. Heidegger, "Brief über den 'Humanismus,'" 318.
125. Heidegger, "Sprache und Heimat" (1960), in Aus der Erfahrung des Denkens, 1910-1976, vol. 13 of Gesamtausgabe, ed. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1983), 155.
126. Heidegger, Beiträge zur Philosophie, 403.
127. Martin Heidegger, "Spiegel-Gespräch mit Martin Heidegger: Der Philosoph und das Dritte Reich" (1966) , interview by Monika Zucht, in Reden und Andere Zeugnisse (see note 56), 671.
128. Martin Heidegger, "Sprache" (1972) and "Sprache und Heimat" (1960), in Aus der Erfahrung des Denkens (see note 125), 229.
129. Martin Heidegger, "Der Fehl Heiliger Namen" (1974), in Aus der Erfahrung des Denkens (see note 125), 232.
131. Martin Heidegger, "Worte Hölderlins" (1938), in Reden und Andere Zeugnisse (see note 56), 749; and Hölderlin, Poems and Fragments, trans. Michael Hamburger (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980), 247.
132. Heidegger, "Spiegel-Gespräch mit Martin Heidegger," 678.
Lucas Murrey earned his doctorate from Yale University. While teaching at Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Germany, he is currently finishing a monograph based on his dissertation "Tragic Light and Language: An Exploration of the Mystical Depths - and Limits - of Hölderlin's 'Second Bacchus,'" which revisits the meaning of Earth in Dionysian Greece to illuminate our time of hyp erte clinici ty and environmental concerns.