Sounding, Silence: Martin Heidegger at the Limits of Poetics

Sounding, Silence: Martin Heidegger at the Limits of Poetics

Sounding, Silence: Martin Heidegger at the Limits of Poetics

Sounding, Silence: Martin Heidegger at the Limits of Poetics

Excerpt

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 Erläuterungen (“soundings-out”) can articulate aspects of these poems to which poetics itself is blind. It thus stands beyond the limits of poetics—limits, that is, not simply born of bad critical practices, but which belong to the very “essence” of poetics as a mode of questioning. On the other hand, in his readings of poetry, and his discussions of generic features of poetry such as rhythm or figurative language, he continually finds himself in an encounter not only with poetry, but with those same modes of questioning which he ascribes to poetics. Just as he attempts to stand outside the limits of poetics, his thinking brought into contact with these limits.

To suggest—as I have just done and will continue to do throughout the following pages—that Heidegger’s writing on poetry involves an engagement with poetics, runs counter to the tone of patrician disdain that characterizes many of Heidegger’s own pronouncements on the subject. In the preface to the fourth edition (1971) of his Elucidations of Hölderlin’s Poetry, he states his opinion boldly: “The present elucidations do not claim to be contributions to research in the history of literature or aesthetics. They spring from a necessity of thought” (EHP 21/7). Echoing the dictum from . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.