Three Poems by Friedrich Hölderlin

Telos: Critical Theory of the Contemporary 2006 (134):157-159 (2006)

Maurice Blanchot, in his essay on Hülderlin, calls our age “an empty time.” Martin Heidegger, paraphrasing Hülderlin's monumental elegy “Bread and Wine,” speaks of our “destitution.” In Hülderlin's language, we are experiencing the absence of the “gods who have fled.” The Western world, according to these authors, finds itself in a crisis of alienation: the old beliefs, values, and worldviews that used to anchor us in the world have been long rent asunder, and we cast about in vain for a ground that isn't there. Yet, as Heidegger writes, our time is “no longer able even to experience its own…
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