Thursday, April 19, 2012
Continuing with Christopher Fynsk on the appropriation of the human.
How much of an opening (in the circle of language’s speaking) does this inscription of the body represent? If we emphasize the element of lethe, the element of concealing that belongs to earth as Heidegger describes it in “The Origin of the Work of Art,” would we find here the source of an irreducible opacity in language? And what of questions like that of sexual difference? is it possible that some kind of “bodily” determination of the latter leaves its mark on language? It goes almost without saying that Heidegger would strictly delimit any “biological” determination of the saying of language (as we see, for example, in his interpretation of Antigone’s response to the Brauch in his reading of Hölderlin’s “The Ister”). The body engages with language only as appropriated by Ereignis; it comes forth only as it owns in a movement of response. But the questions still remain: What of the body is appropriated? And to what extent is this appropriation marked by a kind of irreducible remainder proper to the earth?

Heidegger’s answer to the first question is only latent in the passage I am commenting upon here, though I do not believe we would be forcing anything by drawing it out. It appears implicitly in the marginal note I have cited: Lauten und Leiben—Laut und Schrift. The answer, in other words, is speech and hand. Hand, here, is somewhat less evident than voice (which could hardly surprise us), but it is indicated by an entire set of motifs in this passage that I will try now to develop, starting with that of showing.

The latter motif is an appropriate starting point because it will allow me to formulate a bit more precisely the nature of the “break” to which I have alluded in describing the difference Heidegger inscribes in the essence of language (the difference introduced by the usage, the Brauch that gives language its movement). I emphasize in the essence of language, once again, because we must avoid hypostatizing the terms in relation (Ereignis, humankind, language) and think rather the same of this relation (die er-eignend-brauchende Be-wëgung) out of which the terms are given to be thought, and which is not other than language but rather the finite relationality that determines language’s essence (a kind of “quasi-transcendental”).

Pp. 98-9
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