Friday, June 18, 2010
Cheston Knapp on his story “A Minor Momentousness in the History of Love”
Then a little later I was reading a lot of Heidegger. He has these ideas of the everydayness and publicness of Being, which help comprise his idea of das Man, the “they”—the “they” is, in a sense, the crowd, the enemy of the genuine, “ownmost” possibilities of a self. “Publicness...is insensitive to every difference of level and of genuineness and thus never gets to the ‘heart of the matter.’ By publicness everything gets obscured, and what has thus been covered up gets passed off as something familiar and accessible to everyone.” But Heidegger’s not the Camus of The Stranger. He knows das Man is necessary and inescapable and he defines it as part of Dasein’s [existence’s] “positive construction.” It was incredible to me then how much these ideas could be understood through and overlaid on sports, tennis in particular. And although they lit up a certain tug of war inside me, Heidegger’s insights are more structural than anything else and don’t really yield a framework for a moral understanding of the deep gritty immediate uncertain emotional embattled gracious feeling of being alive, nothing close to what a story can accomplish.
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