Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The thinging of things

"Read what Heidegger has to say about the thinging of things, that is, the gathering and uniting—or as the German says so directly and strongly, das Verweilen, the letting-while or letting-dwell—by which the world is stayed, in virtually every sense of 'stay,' and you will begin to re-collect in your own thinking a basic human grasp of the meaning of things, which will open up afresh a basic human relationship to them... As over against the modern concept of the thing which sees it primarily in its relation to human understanding as an object of representation and in its relation to human will as matter or product of a process or production or self-imposition—a concept, then, not of the thing in its own thingness, but of the thing in its subservience to human preoccupations—Heidegger finds in language the thought of the thing as thing, that is, as gathering and staying a world in its own special way. Hence he is able to use 'thing' as a verb and, by this new coining and recoining of the ancient word and its meaning, to think recallingly and responsively the being of the thing as man has authentically lived with things from the beginning.
Call this primitivism, if you will; it can also be called a recalling to origins, a reversion to the primeval... It represents a movement away from the thin abstractions of representational thinking and the stratospheric constructions of scientific theorizing, and toward the full concreteness, the onefoldness of the manifold, of actual life-experience." -Albert Hofstadter, Introduction to Martin Heidegger's Poetry, Language, Thought

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