The overlooked work of art in “the origin of the work of art”

In this essay I call attention to the fact that there is a work of art in Heidegger’s “The Origin of the Work of Art,” and yet almost no one talks about it: the C. F. Meyer poem “Roman Fountain.” This critical silence is all the more ironic, since (1) it is a self-sufficient artwork, and not just described or mentioned in the text; and (2) the poem’s fountain, as man-made spring, seems to speak to—if not speak of—Heidegger’s thesis concerning the Ur-sprung of the artwork itself. I argue that the poem illuminates a central problem or question concerning the status of art as mimesis, and I suggest that the reason why this poem tends to be overlooked amid the “obsessive” critical attention that it otherwise attracts can be found within the essay itself
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DOI 10.5840/ipq20084822
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