Friday, July 07, 2017
In LARB Ani Kokobobo reviews Laurie Sheck's Island of the Mad.
In the spirit of these connections, as I read the novel I found myself recalling, time and again, a line from one of Martin Heidegger’s letters to Hannah Arendt: “We never know what we can become for others through our Being,” writes Heidegger to the young Arendt at the height of their affair. The line resonates with the novel both in its romantic and philosophical connotations. In Being and Time, Heidegger grounds Being in the world of everyday objects, what he calls Umwelt, or environment. Being encompasses the physicality of our world, and consciousness of Being — the quality of Dasein — is what distinguishes mankind. For Heidegger, the human self is inseparable from the phenomenology of the everyday.
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