Monday, January 29, 2018
In LARB, Michael Marder on the current apocalypse.
What I have not yet commented upon is that the sense of the apocalypse as uncovering resonates with Martin Heidegger’s interpretation of the Greek notion of truth in terms of a disclosure, aletheia. Although it literally means “un-forgetting” (alpha-privative + lethe, signifying oblivion or forgetfulness), in Heidegger’s hands, the concept becomes decidedly apocalyptic. Thrown into the mix, the question of truth poses a challenge: How can an administration infamous for its deployment of “alternative facts” and outright lying to the public be at the cutting edge of political revelation? The intriguing possibility is that factual untruth may coexist with, and even foreground, a deeper stratum of veracity previously muddied by ideological machinations. Heidegger considers this other truth ontological, to do with beings insofar as they are (in being). To be fair, the secret of ontology is not ensconced in the depths of existence but left forgotten, and then rediscovered, right on the surface of things. In this, disclosure differs from revelation. But the main point is valid for both processes: what is disclosed and revealed is, above all, not true reality—as though a curtain, behind which the actual state of affairs has been hiding, were rent—but the nature of truth itself.
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