Monthly Archives: October 2019

Free eyes

Something else had surprised him: that with his first running steps the surroundings, which had receded from him until nothing remained but a number of vanishing points – nothing there for him to look at! – were again surrounding him protectively. Where previously he had seemed to be passing the backs of things, he now saw details, which seemed to exist for him as well as for others. – Running again, Keuschnig noticed glistening puddles in the gravel beside the freshly watered potted trees and in that moment he had a dreamlike feeling of kinship with the world. He stopped still outside the entrance and shook his head as though arguing against his previous disgruntlement. Now he was able to look freely in all directions. Before going in, he cast a last hungry glance over his shoulder to make sure he had missed nothing. How his surroundings had expanded! It took free eyes to see them so rich – so benevolent. Now the sky with its low-lying clouds seemed to be sharing something with him.

– Handke, A Moment of True Feeling (tr. Manheim)

The site of art

The simultaneity of presence in the moment and distance from the world is the site of art. The meditative and religiously coloured experience of the now, this tremendous concentration on the moment, which triggers enormous waves of feelings of connectedness with the world, and perhaps says nothing more than ‘I exist’, is only possible if the world becomes visible as the world and not as the world of the self, and it does so only when that self is outside of it. In one and the same movement, art takes us out of the world and brings us closer to it.

— Knausgaard, The America of the Soul

Being in its openness

In our preceding discussion, we have taken a decisive step. In a lecture course, everything depends on such steps. Occasional questions that have been submitted to me regarding the lectures have betrayed over and over again that most of the listeners are listening in the wrong direction and getting stuck in the details. Of course, the overall context is important even in lectures on the special sciences. But for the sciences the overall context is immediately determined by the object, which for the sciences is always given in advance in some way. In contrast, it is not just that the object of philosophy does not lie at hand, but philosophy has no object at all. Philosophy is a happening that must at all times work out Being for itself anew (that is, Being in its openness, which belongs to it). Only in this happening does philosophical truth open up.

– Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics (tr. Fried and Polt)