Thursday, May 15, 2014

what is being German, 1934-35?

What is renewal for "We" who must enown Our region?

“Martin Heidegger’s 1934–1935 lectures on Friedrich Hölderlin’s hymns ‘Germania’ and ‘The Rhine’ are considered the most significant among Heidegger’s lectures on Hölderlin,” blurbs the publisher’s book cover.

Considered by whom? I thought that his post-War lectures were the most important.

Nevertheless, it’s indisputable that: “Coming at a crucial time in his career, the text illustrates Heidegger’s turn toward language, art, and poetry while reflecting his despair at his failure to revolutionize the German university and his hope for a more profound revolution through the German language, guided by Hölderlin’s poetry.”

Bear in mind that this is prior to Introduction to Metaphysics, which makes passing mention of a horrific “greatness” (a notion which has become vehemently polemical for Heidegger, which his notebooks make clear); and which speaks of an “inner truth,” which is a critical, emancipatory notion about an inevitable nihilism, not a laudatory endorsement of anything.

“These lectures are important for understanding Heidegger’s changing relation to politics, his turn toward Nietzsche”—which was critique-al, so to speak, not laudatory—“his thinking about the German language, and his breakthrough to a new kind of poetic thinking. First published in 1980 as volume 39 of Heidegger’s Complete Works, this graceful and rigorous English-language translation will be widely discussed in continental philosophy and literary theory.”

And let us hope that the discussion is in the context of his notebooks of the period, which are bitterly critical of his academic peers who are causing university compliance with encroaching totalitarianism.