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Week 10


Heidegger, 'Why do I stay in the Provinces?' (1934), trans. Thomas Sheehan (PDF Document)


'He who thinks greatly must err greatly' - 'The Thinker as Poet': read Heidegger's poems in light of the following:

'Man errs. Man does not merely stray into errancy. . . . The errancy through which man strays is not something which, as it were, extends alongside man like a ditch into which he occasionally stumbles; rather, errancy belongs to the inner constitution of the Da-sein into which historical man is admitted. . . . Errancy is the open site for and ground of error. Error is not merely an isolated mistake but the realm (the domain) of the history of those entanglements in which all kinds of erring get interwoven.' - Heidegger, "On the Essence of Truth," in Basic Writings from "Being and Time" (1927) to The Task of Thinking" (1964), trans. and ed. David Farrell Krell (Routledge: London, 1993), 133.

‘The thinker utters being. The poet names the holy. Admittedly, thought from the nature of being, the way poetry and thanking and thinking refer to each other and at the same time are distinct must remain open. Presumably, thanking and poetry come in different ways of thinking in its inception, making use of it but without letting themselves become something for thought. We no doubt know a lot about the relation of philosophy and creative writing [Poesie]. But we know nothing about the dialogue between the poet and the thinker, who ‘live nearby on distant peaks.’ One of essential sites [Wesensstätte] of silence is dread, in the sense of the terror in which the abyss of no-thing is the right thing for [stimmt] man.’ – ‘What is Metaphysics’ (1929) [Heidegger distinguishes here between 'der Dichter' (the classical poet), 'das Dichten' (what the classical poet does) and 'die Dichtung' (poetry or literature in general), on the one hand, and between 'das Dichten' (writing poetry) and 'die Poesie' (‘creative writing’), on the other]