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from “conversation on a country path about thinking”

gary e. davis
  August 5, 2015
   


Teacher: “...Which guided us deep into the night . . .

Scientist: . . . that gleams ever more splendidly . . .

Scholar: . . . and overwhelms stars . . .

Teacher: . . . because it nears their distances in the heavens. . .

Scientist: . . . for the naive observer, though not for exact science.

Teacher: Ever to the child in man, night neighbors the stars.

Scholar: She binds together without seam or edge or thread.

Scientist: She neighbors; because she works only with nearness.

Scholar: If she ever works rather than rests. . .

Teacher: . . . while wondering upon the depths of the height.

Scholar: Then wonder can open what is locked?

Scientist: By way of waiting . . .

Teacher: If this is released . . .

Scholar: . . . and human nature remains appropriated to that. . .

Teacher: . . . from whence we are called.”


The above lines end the “Conversation...” But I want to write to the entire conversation. Soon. The following notes aren’t the beginning of doing so. But for now: Notice that “Heidegger,” the authorship, is all three stances (roles), not simply the Teacher. Futural (“Mortality” of) teaching, reconstructive domain (“Sky”) of scholarship, present-centered inquiry of the scientist (“Earth”) has an implicit fourth regioning, a philosophical “As If,” a channeling precursor. Yet, the authorship there is different from the authorial regioning, which also does “Time and Being” a few years later.



That entire conversation, comprising most of Discourse on Thinking, is not an earlier translation of the text that ends “A Triadic Conversation...” in the recently-translated Country Path Conversations. The two texts are different; the “Conversation...” is more poetic in places. In 1959, Heidegger extracted the last 53 German pages of “A Triadic Conversation...” (1944/45), revised the pages (sometimes re-writing dialogue segments), and combined the result with a “Memorial Address” (1955) to make a short book, Gelassenheit (Releasement) in 1959. Gelassenheit was translated in 1966 as Discourse on Thinking. (Ignore the 1966 “Introduction” in that little book.) A poeticness of parts of 1959 “Conversation on a Country Path” is missing from the “parallel” (1945) pages of “A Triadic Conversation...” in Country Path Conversations (2010). Someone reading the latter book might prefer to put it aside at pp. 68-103 and read the Discourse version—then continue with Country Path Conversations at p. 103.

   


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