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Heil Heidegger

J.P. Stern, 20 April 1989

Martin HeideggerUnterwegs zu seiner Biographie 
by Hugo Ott.
Campus Verlag, 355 pp., DM 48, December 1988, 3 593 34035 6
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... biographical publications on the most problematic of 20th-century philosophers, Hugo Ott’s Martin Heidegger: Toward his Biography stands out as the most detailed and scrupulously accurate. But caveat lector: there is a great deal here that we would not think of as conduct becoming a philosopher or the academic profession in general. It cannot have ...

Thinking without a Banister

James Miller, 19 October 1995

Hannah Arendt/Martin Heidegger 
by Elzbieta Ettinger.
Yale, 139 pp., £10.95, October 1995, 0 300 06407 1
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Essays in Understanding, 1930-1954: Uncollected and Unpublished Works 
by Hannah Arendt, edited by Jerome Kohn.
Harcourt Brace, 458 pp., $39.95, May 1994, 0 15 172817 8
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Hannah Arendt: A Reinterpretation of Her Political Thought 
by Margaret Canovan.
Cambridge, 298 pp., £12.95, September 1995, 0 521 47773 5
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Between Friends: The Correspondence of Hannah Arendt and Mary McCarthy 
edited by Carol Brightman.
Secker, 412 pp., £25, July 1995, 0 436 20251 4
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Hannah Arendt/Karl Jaspers: Correspondence, 1926-1969 
edited by Lotte Kohler and Hans Saner, translated by Robert and Rita Kimber.
Harcourt Brace, 821 pp., $49.95, November 1992, 0 15 107887 4
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... Reared on the existentialism of Karl Jaspers and her other philosophical mentor, Martin Heidegger, she first won renown in the literary salons of Manhattan, where she awed the Partisan Review crowd, became friends with New York intellectuals like Dwight Macdonald, and charmed countless literary lights as the perfect ‘Good ...

Great Again

Malcolm Bull: America’s Heidegger, 20 October 2016

Ponderings II-VI: Black Notebooks, 1931-38 
by Martin Heidegger, translated by Richard Rojcewicz.
Indiana, 388 pp., £50, June 2016, 978 0 253 02067 3
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... From 1930​ until the end of his life, Heidegger kept a private philosophical journal in a series of black notebooks. He intended it to be published as the very last of his collected works, but his executors, recognising its importance, have allowed it to appear ahead of schedule. When the first three volumes were published in Germany in 2014, they caused the expected controversy, and prompted Günter Figal, the chair of the Martin Heidegger Society, to resign on the grounds that he could no longer represent the figure that emerged from their pages ...

Nietzsche’s Centaur

Bernard Williams, 4 June 1981

Nietzsche on Tragedy 
by M.S. Silk and J.P. Stern.
Cambridge, 441 pp., £27.50, March 1981, 0 521 23262 7
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Nietzsche: A Critical Life 
by Ronald Hayman.
Weidenfeld, 424 pp., £18.50, March 1980, 0 297 77636 3
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Nietzsche. Vol. 1: The Will to Power as Art 
by Martin Heidegger, translated by David Farrell Krell.
Routledge, 263 pp., £11.50, March 1981, 0 7100 0744 2
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... The basic element of the Dionysiac is indeed Rausch – ‘rapture’ in Krell’s translation of Heidegger, ‘ecstasy’ in Silk and Stern – but the corresponding idea of the Apollonian is dream, and the order which Classical art can set upon things itself has roots in a realm of illusion. The balance between these forces, and the consciousness which the ...

A Kind of Integrity

Jonathan Barnes, 6 November 1986

Philosophical Apprenticeships 
by Hans-Georg Gadamer, translated by Robert Sullivan.
MIT, 198 pp., £13.95, October 1985, 0 262 07092 8
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The Idea of the Good in Platonic-Aristotelian Philosophy 
by Hans-Georg Gadamer, translated by Christopher Smith.
Yale, 182 pp., £18, June 1986, 0 300 03463 6
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... training in Classical scholarship. But the mystagogue of Gadamer’s philosophical initiation was Martin Heidegger. He first met Heidegger in 1923 and was captivated: Heidegger’s seal – to change the metaphor – was pressed deeply and firmly into the soft wax of Gadamer’s ...

God loveth adverbs

Jonathan Glover, 22 November 1990

Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity 
by Charles Taylor.
Cambridge, 601 pp., £25.95, November 1989, 0 521 38331 5
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... equivalent of this is his uncritical willingness to take seriously the bogus philosopher Martin Heidegger, who is very occasionally brought out to bolster some platitude. The opinion that the power we have to assent or not to an inclination ‘is essentially in each case mine’ is decorated by the parenthesis ‘jemeinig, to use ...

Scholarship and its Affiliations

Wendy Steiner, 30 March 1989

... manifestations of a scholarly cause célèbre. One has only to compare the recent furore over Martin Heidegger and Paul de Man to see how slight the impact of the Blunt affair has been on the academic community. Mutatis mutandis, all three men had disreputable if not dishonourable commerce with totalitarian regimes, all three produced widely ...

Performing Seals

Christopher Hitchens: The PR Crowd, 10 August 2000

Partisans: Marriage, Politics and Betrayal Among the New York Intellectuals 
by David Laskin.
Simon and Schuster, 319 pp., $26, January 2000, 0 684 81565 6
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... Eichmann in Jerusalem. Before abandoning her beloved Germany she had conducted an affair with Martin Heidegger and may have resumed it after the war; it’s been suggested lately that this might supply a covert motive for her refusal to blame only the Nazis for the Final Solution. This contingency isn’t discussed here, again because it doesn’t ...


Jonathan Barnes, 6 September 1984

by George Steiner.
Oxford, 326 pp., £15, June 1984, 0 19 812665 4
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... thought and language are influenced by his esteem for that master of pompous vapouring, Martin Heidegger. Thus, in Steiner’s view, ‘Heidegger’s sentiment that the second choral ode ... in Sophocles’s Antigone, together with Hölderlin’s mature translation, could provide a sufficient basis for ...

Bitten by the love geist

Geoffrey Hawthorn, 30 January 1992

by Francis Dunlop.
Claridge, 97 pp., £9.95, October 1991, 1 870626 71 0
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... and in Latin America. In its deployment of the distinction between being and existence, it excited Martin Heidegger and affected existentialists. In conceding the partiality of mundane perception but allowing the possibility of communion with an Absolute, it engaged those ‘sociologists of knowledge’ who wanted to have things both ways. But neither ...

Against Passion

James Meek: Passionate Politics, 30 November 2017

The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics 
by Mark Lilla.
Harper, 160 pp., £19, August 2017, 978 0 06 269743 1
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The Shipwrecked Mind: On Political Reaction 
by Mark Lilla.
NYRB, 166 pp., £9.99, September 2016, 978 1 59017 902 4
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... and quiet down – and the queasy attitude of those white ‘moderates’ in the 1960s whom Martin Luther King lamented in his famous letter from jail in Birmingham, Alabama were ‘more devoted to “order” than to justice’.‘The thing is,’ Smith told Curve magazine earlier this year,everyone has an identity ...

Whereof one cannot speak

George Steiner, 23 June 1988

Wittgenstein. A Life: Young Ludwig 1889-1921 
by Brian McGuinness.
Duckworth, 322 pp., £15.95, May 1988, 0 7156 0959 9
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... research God’s plenty to learn from and think about. It looks as if Ludwig Wittgenstein and Martin Heidegger will come to dominate our sense of 20th-century philosophical thought. Indeed, the whole question of the paradoxical affinities between their respective obsessions with language now pervades philosophical and philosophical-historical ...

Spinoza got it

Margaret Jacob: Radical Enlightenment, 8 November 2012

A Revolution of the Mind: Radical Enlightenment and the Intellectual Origins of Modern Democracy 
by Jonathan Israel.
Princeton, 276 pp., £13.95, September 2011, 978 0 691 15260 8
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... the Enlightenment, the liberal idealist Ernst Cassirer faced down the philosopher and future Nazi Martin Heidegger. Observers claimed Heidegger won that debate. A German Jew who would go into exile four years later, Cassirer had urged his contemporaries to look into ‘that bright clear mirror fashioned by the ...

Weimar in Partibus

Norman Stone, 1 July 1982

Hannah Arendt: For Love of the World 
by Elizabeth Young-Bruehl.
Yale, 563 pp., £12.95, May 1982, 0 300 02660 9
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Hannah Arendt and the Search for a New Political Philosophy 
by Bhikhu Parekh.
Macmillan, 198 pp., £20, October 1981, 0 333 30474 8
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... her family badly. Still, she was able to attend famous universities and to sit at the feet – in Heidegger’s case, more than feet – of famous philosophers. She shone. By 1929, she was living a characteristic Weimar intellectual life. She had a small scholarship, was preparing a complicated doctorate, and lived, with a man she subsequently married, in a ...

Günter Grass’s Uniqueness

J.P. Stern, 5 February 1981

... with totalitarian collywobbles and attacks of authenticitis of the cervical membrane called Martin Heidegger is an identifiable caricature of the philosopher of that name; and the mountain made of human bones which lies between the outskirts of the city and the lunatic asylum at Stutthof, which everybody sees and nobody has seen, which everybody ...

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