Saturday, June 02, 2012
[Start][Previously on]

Frédéric de Towarnicki's Visite à Martin Heidegger

Heidegger rose from his chair. He went up to his office and on descending with an enigmatic air, held a folder, that he opened on the table with the smile of someone with a surprise. It was the original manuscript of Sein und Zeit, with virtually no corrections, dark with his beautiful, dense handwriting. He let us browse the pages that had “shifted” (gelichtet) the question of the meaning of being.

Sein und Zeit was perhaps the promise of a turning to another beginning which, Heidegger said, was immeasurably smaller than the first beginning of Western thought, that occurred two thousand five hundred years ago in two parts of the Greek world, the “kick-off” from the words of Heraclitus and Parmenides.

On that day Heidegger then paid homage to his master Husserl and his method that had not only indicated the direction, but had also carried philosophy to where it was appearing in its original state, appearing out of as itself. In 1927-1928, after reading Sein und Zeit, the old master had sincerely thought that Heidegger had gone astray from the path and had turned his back on Husserl’s phenomenology which he’s intended to be “scientific”.

“The question of Sein und Zeit is still awaiting a substantive discussion”, says Heidegger. “Nobody, so far, has risked engaging with it. But thinking patiently follows its path without recourse to topicality or polemics. It must agree to work in the vicinity of solitude.” It doesn’t care about rumors and reputation. Not without humor, he told his us brother Fritz called "pickpockets” those who drew extensively from his writings never bothering to mention his name.

In a text dictated to Jean Beaufret during his first visit in 1946, after the war, in the French zone of occupation and with Germany in ruins, Heidegger had told him, in Todtnauberg, that his question about the truth of being should not be construed as a "single action”. Within this question was being itself and its secret that appealed to man deep in distress and enjoined him to be more thoughtful.


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