Wednesday, July 20, 2011
The neglected third work of art, in the Origin of the Work of Art.
The work, then, is not concerned with the reproduction of a particular being that has at some time been actually present. Rather, it is concerned to reproduce the general essence of things. But where, then, is this general essence and how should it be for the artwork to correspond to or agree with it? With what essence of what thing should the Greek temple agree? Could anyone maintain the impossible position that the Idea of Temple is represented in the temple? And yet in this work, if it is a work, truth sets itself to work. Or take Hölderlin’s hymn “The Rhine.” What is given beforehand to the poet, and how is it given, so that it can be given once again in the poem? It may be that in the case of this hymn and similar poems, the idea of a copy-relation between a beautiful reality and the artwork clearly fails; yet the idea that the work is a copy seems to be confirmed in the best possible way by C. F. Meyer's poem “The Roman Fountain”
The jet ascends, and falling fills
The marble basin round,
Veiling itself, this over-flows
Into a second basin’s ground
The second gives, it becomes too rich,
To a third its bubbling flood,
And each at once receives and gives
And streams and rests.
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