Ecstasy, Catastrophe: Heidegger from Being and Time to the Black Notebooks (SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy)
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Lectures on ecstatic temporality and on Heidegger’s political legacy.
In Ecstasy, Catastrophe, David Farrell Krell provides insight into two areas of Heidegger’s thought: his analysis of ecstatic temporality in Being and Time (1927)and his “political” remarks in the recently published Black Notebooks (1931–1941). The first part of Krell’s book focuses on Heidegger’s interpretation of time, which Krell takes to be one of Heidegger’s greatest philosophical achievements. In addition to providing detailed commentary on ecstatic temporality, Krell considers Derrida’s analysis of ekstasis in his first seminar on Heidegger, taught in Paris in 1964–1965. Krell also relates ecstatic temporality to the work of other philosophers, including Aristotle, Augustine, Kant, Schelling, Hölderlin, and Merleau-Ponty; he then analyzes Dasein as infant and child, relating ecstatic temporality to the “mirror stage” theory of Jacques Lacan.
The second part of the book turns to Heidegger’s Black Notebooks, which have received a great deal of critical attention in the press and in philosophical circles. Notorious for their pejorative references to Jews and Jewish culture, the Notebooks exhibit a level of polemic throughout that Krell takes to be catastrophic in and for Heidegger’s thought. Heidegger’s legacy therefore seems to be split between the best and the worst of thinking—somewhere between ecstasy and catastrophe.
Based on the 2014 Brauer Lectures in German Studies at Brown University, the book communicates the fruits of Krell’s many years of work on Heidegger in an engaging and accessible style.
“…[the book] reveals Krell as a generous and gracious thinker and teacher.” — Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
HarperCollins, 1993. EGT Early Greek Thinking. 2nd ed. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1984. EM Einführung in die Metaphysik. Tübingen: M. Niemeyer, 1953. FS Frühe Schriften. Frankfurt am Main: V. Klostermann, 1972. G Gelassenheit. Pfullingen: G. Neske, 1959. H Holzwege. Frankfurt am Main: V. Klostermann, 1950. HA Hannah Arendt und Martin Heidegger, Briefe 1925–1975 und andere Zeugnisse. 3rd, expanded ed. Edited by Ursula Ludz. Frankfurt am Main: V. Klostermann, 2002. KPM Kant
life, however beset by calamity and however rudely disciplined by all the masters of its destiny, is determined most by birth, as Hölderlin tells us in the Rheinhymne (ll. 47–53): Denn Wie du anfingst, wirst du bleiben, So viel auch wirket die Not, Und die Zucht, das meiste nämlich Vermag die Geburt, Und der Lichtstrahl, der Dem Neugebornen begegnet. (DKV 1:329) For As you began, so you will remain, And as much as calamity works its effects, And discipline, precisely most is Achieved by birth
interpretation; the second is related more to space than to time (albeit always in the combination of time-space, or time-space-play), still in the sense of a sudden entry into the region of the clearing; the third is related most often to the wretched madness of Heidegger’s own times, the age when the gods have flown and beyng has abandoned human beings, the age when gigantism, machination, and calculative thinking deflect every access to the openness Raptures and Ruptures of Time 57 of
remarkable account of this magnetism in Adorno’s aesthetic theory. The context is Adorno’s striking analysis of enigmaticity, Rätselhaftigkeit, Rätselcharakter, in the work of art; such enigmaticity, he argues, removes the work to a distant terrain that not even the sturdiest hermeneutical vehicle can cross. Adorno’s prime examples 114 Ecstasy, Catastrophe are taken from music, as always; yet at a certain point he shifts from musical composition proper to the use of musical metaphor in
Germans (“das Volk der Dichter und Denker”) into “the nation of poets and soldiers” (94:514). Heidegger’s own desire soon becomes “the courage to take distance,” which, he says, “dare not be botched by the phantasmatic machinations of a noisy ‘engagement’ ” (94:159). Distance from what? From the “machinations” of “the gigantic.” Machenschaft and das Riesenhafte now, by 1934, become the principal polemical words of the Black Notebooks. “Machination,” “gigantism,” and the “swamp” or “bog” into