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Heidegger, Hoelderlin, and the subject of poetic language

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Description: In Heidegger's phenomenological ontology and his critique of the 'metaphysics of subjectivity,' the world is understood not as an 'object' at the disposal of a 'subject,' but as a phenomenal 'nearness' given revelation in language. Heidegger's ontology of language relies upon the work of Friedrich Hölderlin, whose poetry Heidegger understands as giving 'voice' to Being in a peculiar proximity. For Heidegger, Hölderlin's articulations are not those of a subject 'expressing' a meaning (according to the classical theory of language from Aristotle to Husserl), but rather those of a poet whose 'remembrance' ( Andenken ) recalls a sense of Being metaphysics has forgotten. Heidegger argues that Hölderlin's language is of Being, beyond the self as defined by humanist notions of subjectivity which reduce Being, along with beings, to the subject's objectifying examination. In 'dialogue' with poetic language, Heidegger's philosophy aims to achieve a genuine thinking of Being, as well as Gelassenheit , the stance of receptivity. Hölderlin's philosophical writings, however, challenge some of Heidegger's views both of poetic language and of the self or subject implied by language. Hölderlin offers a critique of Kantian and Fichtean transcendental idealism and a theory of poetic language as promising a nontranscendental grasp of the 'ideal,' 'spirit' ( Geist ), or Being. Hölderlin's examination of the 'poetic I' involves both skepticism and utopiainism, in which a self is understood to encounter the world outside the auspices of possessive, determinative, or objectifying relations. Thus I show that Hölderlin suggests a model of 'poetic subjectivity' which conforms to dimensions of Heidegger's critique of the modern subject, yet which also does not leave behind the self and the human concerns of that self In Hölderlin a non-anthropocentric humanism is imagined, one which furthers the Gelassenheit dimensions of Heideggerian philosophy while subverting the political determinations of his aesthetic ontology. The work of Julia Kristeva, in which poetic language reveals the 'subject in process' and which recognizes in Hölderlin a poetic dimension of modern subjectivity, is employed to further examine these insights.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work