Leaping from the Patna
and der Sprung
For Jim, in Conrad's novel, the moment of decision is the moment when all hope is gone, when complete uncertainty governs, it is an instant in which life and death come together as one, when there is no difference between them, when time is suspended for an in an instant. At that moment there is the leap, the jump that changes everything. The decision to jump cannot even be said to be a choice, it is pure de-cision, in which existence is put on hold. From thereon causality and consequences rule, whatever they might be, and existence and meaning are put into play again. But exactly in the moment of decision there is an instant of clearing or aletheia, which takes place as an Ereignis, as what we propose to name the cision of enowning [Ereignis].
An essential de-cision is thus a suspension of decision, but comes to happen, ereignet, in the turning that opens up for the truth of Being and the Being of truth. Moreover, and to translate this in terms of Conrad's novel, it is the de-cision that is staged in Lord Jim through Jim's jump from the Patna. The jump, in the way Heidegger conceives the leap, is necessary for us to be able to think essentially about the de-cision and about doubt viewed as the Abgrund of Conrad's novel as a work that leads us to the limit of metaphysics. This means conceiving the jump not only as part of the plot of the novel but also, at the same time, as the leap (der Sprung) into the other beginning, which makes it possible to think the de-cision and doubt essentially. This is, furthermore, the movement (Satz) that leads us to the leap, which lets us make the jump to essential thinking as the other beginning. The other beginning is a beginning that provides a path to think the unthought as other than a form of representational thinking and hermeneutical thematization.
From James M. Magrini and Elias Schwieler's Heidegger on Literature, Poetry, and Education after the “Turn”: At the Limits of Metaphysics