For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Poetry, Language, Thought

by Heidegger, Martin (1971)


Poetry, Language, Thought collects Martin Heidegger's pivotal writings on art, its role in human life and culture, and its relationship to thinking and truth. Essential reading for students and anyone interested in the great philosophers, this book opens up appreciation of Heidegger beyond the study of philosophy to the reaches of poetry and our fundamental relationship to the world. Featuring "The Origin of the Work of Art," a milestone in Heidegger's canon, this enduring volume provides potent, accessible entry to one of the most brilliant thinkers of modern times.

Key Passage

[Extract from: Building, Dwelling, Thinking  ]-We are attempting to trace in thought the nature  of dwelling. The next step on this path would be the question: what is the state of dwelling in our precarious  age? On all sides we hear talk  about  the housing shortage, and with good reason. Nor is there just talk; there is action too. We try to fill the need by providing houses, by promoting  the  building  of  houses, planning the whole  architectural enterprise. However hard and bitter, however hampering and threatening  the  lack of houses remains, the real plight of dwelling does not lie merely in a lack of houses. The real plight of dwelling is indeed older than the world wars with their destruction,  older  also than the  increase of the earth's population  and the condition  of the industrial workers. The real dwelling plight lies in this, that mortals ever search anew for the nature of dwelling, that they must ever learn to dwell  What if  man's homelessness  consisted  in this, that man still does not even think of the  real plight of dwelling as the plight? Yet as soon as man gives thought to his homelessness, it is a misery no longer. Rightly considered and kept well in mind, it is the sole summons that calls mortals into their dwelling. But how else can mortals answer this summons than by trying on  their part, on their own, to  bring dwelling to the fullness of its nature? This they accomplish when they build out of dwelling, and think for the sake of dwelling. (p.158)


Poetry, Heidegger, Art, Aesthetics, Culture, Artwork, Artist, Poetry, Twentieth Century


Poetry, Language, Thought, Poetry, Language, Thought, Building, Dwelling, Thinking [1951], Heidegger Citations, Heidegger Citations

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