Monday, 14 December 2009

Hundreds of Unreads

...and by the word "unreads" I mean unread pages, books, why not even e-mails (which seems to be a legitimate context of using "unread" as a noun; there is a Linux script that can show you an "unreads summary," as I just learned by googling the word "unreads").

I drift from Wayne C. Booth's The Rhetoric of Fiction, a very important "read" for my teaching as it seems (and I'm afraid I managed to leave it unread as a student), to another book still mostly unread, Heidegger's Die Grundbegriffe der Metaphysik: Welt – Endlichkeit – Einsamkeit, and find yet another thing which I could use on my lecture course, inasmuch as I can legitimize a philosophical detour (and I can, when it is a question of Romanticism), namely Heidegger's reading of a fragment by Novalis that I already knew but had never really understood, at least not in Heidegger's sense:
Die Philosophie ist eigentlich Heimweh, ein Trieb überall zu Hause zu Sein.

And once again I experience what reading means, at its best (although this is not the only "best" condition of reading): a constant invocation to write, make notes, anticipate with hypotheses in the form of scribbled notes, sometimes just marking an important passage...

So, once again, I must leave just an indication, continue reading and anticipate the time of writing, or the moment of speaking about the importance of an insight, translating it into a form that suits the lecture course, concerning what was revolutionary in the Romantics' fragmentary epiphanies about literature and philosophy – and why Heidegger's obviously reductive way of reading the fragment, abstracting from Heimweh (homesickness) to Stimmung (attunement or, to use late 18th or early 19th century vocabulary, "sentiment"), Grundstimmung, is actually – perhaps, still – a legitimate response to it.