Thursday, June 17, 2010

Reading the maps on New Zealand's regionalist poet Kendrick Smithyman.
Martin Heidegger was also a regionalist, in the sense that he chose live almost his whole life in the Black Forest region of Germany, whose landscape and values he compared favourably with those of more populous and glamorous parts of Europe. Heidegger disliked the modern world partly because he felt that it insulated its inhabitants from confrontation with the essential nature of their lives. He believed that modern Western city-dwellers, with their comfortable homes and access to diversions like movies and television, were able to avoid thinking about the inevitability of their deaths. This avoidance of the essential fact about human existence led to an arrogance towards nature, and a forgetfulness of history, on the part not just of individuals but of entire cultures. Smithyman appears to have been one of Heidegger’s first and most enthusiastic New Zealand readers.
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