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BRITISH-IRISH-POETS  1998

BRITISH-IRISH-POETS 1998

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Subject:

Ramblings on Heidegger

From:

Douglas Clark <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Douglas Clark <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 16 Apr 98 7:36:55 BST

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Firstly let me say that I see Kirkegaard as a seminal figure.
Reading his ideas nowadays I dont see much excitement in them
and I think his importance is that he was first rather than
in his construct of a viewpoint.

Secondly Husserl's phenomenology has never caught my interest
and at this moment I can remember nothing of it. Enough said.

Now to Heidegger. He has fascinated me for many years. I remember
Freiberg and the SChwarzwald well from the 60s. I was there before
Celan! A marvellous university in those days where a conversation
would begin in one language, stray into another, and end up in
a third. I loved visiting there.

But to Heidegger. I think the best introduction is GEorge Steiner's
little book. The new Oxford momograph is a boring trudge thru `Being
and Time', for which I havent yet seen reports of the new translation.
I feel Heidegger raises a vast philosophical structure on some very
simple but lovely ideas. Though I tend to ignore his anti-modern
approach to technology which was typical of me of his time. What
I have tried to do in my poetry is distil the essence of his ideas
into my little poems. Offhand I can think of
  LInes for Martin Heidegger {in `Dysholm' on the Web & Selected POems)
  Mary and God (in 1Arkansas-poems' on the Web & Wounds)
  Mary and Heidegger (ditto)

We have a few simple ideas and a great structure. A philosophy
which is very appealling to the modern age reaching back to
Indian ideas. Heidegger's idea of getting back to the Presocratics
is also fine as PLato is so dominant.

But what I really want to talk about is Heidegger and poetry.
Heidegger had one of the best understandings of what poetry is
about of this century. He had an unerring feel for the right
point to concentrate the interest on. This is what impelled
him to adore Paul Celan. But the problem here is that Heidegger
reconstructed his poets into the image that he wanted of them.
He brutally travested Holderlin (see Andrezej Zaminski and Paul
de Man). He wanted to be a great poet himself but all he was was
a philosopher so he savaged those who could do it and tried to
take over their mantle.

I think it can be said that philosophy as I know it ends with
Heidegger. There is no need for more exploration once you bring
the culture of science alongside his ideas.

It is a pity he was an unreconstructed Nazi and that Nazi ideas
are inbuilt into his philosophy. We have to recognise these negative
trends in ourselves and not be afraid to write about them.
   See the `barbarians' sequence in my book `Coatham' (on the Web)

I havent really said very much about Heidegger. I have always found
it more natural to express myself in poetry. And I would love to
read his essay on Rilke. But I have no access to libraries other
than my own.

Idle thoughts in a burgled house on the morning of Thursday 16 April.
.

PS I forget my poem `Celan at Todtnauberg' in `Disbanded which
George has now refuted.



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