Poetry. Language, Thought [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 25 (4):755-755 (1972)
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The present contribution to the continuing translation of the works of Heidegger into English under the editorship of J. Glenn Gray is one of the most valuable. The first-rate translation, preceded by an excellent Introduction, is by Albert Hofstadter, whose popular anthology, Philosophies of Art and Beauty, had included his translation of Heidegger's 1935 essay, "The Origin of the Work of Art." That essay, along with six other pieces, hitherto untranslated, make up the present volume--including the first essay of Unterwegs zur Sprache, which was not included in the English translation, On the Way to Language. The volume also contains a translation of Heidegger's poem "Aus der Erfahrung des Denkens," under the title "The Thinker as Poet." Found here too are the two important essays "Building, Dwelling and Thinking," and "The Thing," which together represent the most important of Heidegger's all too brief but very suggestive treatments of the "world" as the "Foursome". Readers of Being and Time who consult these later essays will be surprised to discover what has come of the "world" in Heidegger's later thought, and in particular of the relationship of God to the world, a theme which was bracketed in Being and Time. As a whole this very valuable collection deals with the later Heidegger's highly aesthetic, highly poetic, view of Being and of Dasein's relationship to Being. These essays represent the final outcome of his use of the phenomenological method to approach Being; and they contain, if anything does, what Heidegger means by "overcoming metaphysics." If Heidegger's later thought is, as has been suggested, a Seinsmystik, it is no less a Seinsdichtung.--J. D. C.



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