Saturday, November 19, 2016
Graham Harman chooses rivers.
[T]he German poet Hölderlin has been the dominant literary of recnt continental philosophy. This is largely Heidegger's doing, since it was he who repeatedly gave lecture courses on Hölderlin's hymns and treated him as a figure of staggering significance for philosophy.
I am not making the Heideggerian claim that Lovecraft writes stories about the essence of writing stories, but the even more extreme claim that Lovecraft writes stories about the essence of philosophy. Lovecraft is the model writer of ontography, with its multiple polarizations in the heart of real and sensual objects. For this reason, as I wrote in the 2008 article: "In symbolic terms, Great Cthulhu should replace Minerva as the patron spirit of Philosophers, and the Miskatonic must dwarf the Rhine and the Ister as our river of choice. Since Heidegger's treatment of Hölderlin resulted mostly in pious, dreary readings, philosophy needs a new literary hero."
Pp. 33-4
"I looked upon the Miskatonic and praised the abyss beneath it."

"Roll on, Miskatonic, roll on.
Your uncanniness hides the truth of beyng."

Apologies to Langston Hughes and Woody Guthrie.
At times, I think we can all benefit from Harman's suggestiveness, but the proposition that Lovecraft can be to contemporary philosophy anything like Hölderin was for Heidegger betrays a lack of understanding of Heidegger's relationship to Hölderlin and to poetry in general. Heidegger did not choose this poet as an aesthetic sidekick or as an artistic expression of his philosophy. The elucidations are prompted from the outset and governed through and through by an understanding of the hiddenight law of history --an understanding completely lacking in Harman as far as I can tell.
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