Ellipsis: Of Poetry and the Experience of Language After by Independent Researcher William S Allen

By Independent Researcher William S Allen

Examines poetic language within the paintings of Heidegger, Hölderlin, and Blanchot.

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Additional info for Ellipsis: Of Poetry and the Experience of Language After Heidegger, Holderlin, and Blanchot (S U N Y Series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy)

Sample text

This can be found initially in Hölderlin’s writings, which Heidegger studied in this period, but that articulate a very different relation between language and temporality, thus allowing us not only to assess how far Heidegger’s thinking has traveled by the 1950s, but also to leave open the possibility that the situation of finitude in language may uncover an unanswerable demand. It Introduction 21 is to this problem that the writings of Blanchot seek to respond by interpreting this demand in terms of its alterity, thereby transforming the task of ontology into an ethics and suggesting that insofar as poetry responds to this demand, it not only indicates the logic of language but also unveils itself as a language of finitude.

Thus, inherent to Heidegger’s need to find a means of approaching the complexity and ambivalence of our relation to being is a realization that philosophy itself may be part of the problem, and that other ways of thinking might be more appropriate. Consequently, what is of interest here is the way of thinking that develops in Heidegger’s later works, in which it is not as important to know the precise meaning of Ereignis, phusis, or ale¯theia, and so forth, or even how these terms relate to each other, as it is to understand the reasons and implications for this way of thinking.

To understand this extraordinary statement we need to return to the very beginning of Heidegger’s thinking; as he indicates himself, here at the end of his career, our task is as always to go back and start again. The obscurity and even eccentricity of a “tautological thinking” is only to be made sense of if we can perceive its relation to phenomenology, and this is what I shall proceed with here, for in tautology we find the deepest roots of Heidegger’s poetic thinking. 25 26 ELLIPSIS Heidegger’s first investigations of phenomenology centered on the attempt to find a language that could respond to the dual problems of intuition and expression; how are we able to access the world without reducing it and how can we bring it to language without objectifying it?

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