*A Music of Translation*
In his article “The Caesura of the Speculative,” Lacoue-Labarthe proposes that it might be the neglect of Hölderlin’s dramaturgical work, in other words, the exclusive consideration of his work as poetry, which has helped to circumvent a double-folded question: how is it that Hölderlin’s writing works both to elaborate and dismantle speculative thought, or, what Lacoue-Labarthe calls “the speculativetragic matrix”; and how is it that “nothing, ﬁnally, could offer him the resources of an ‘other’ thought, or give him the possibility of instituting any difference in relation to it.”1 In what follows, I propose a reading of Hölderlin’s “Anmerkungen zum Ödipus,” the notes meant to accompany his translation of Sophocles’ tragedy.2 Even before a response to the question raised by Lacoue-Labarthe, the following text is intended to show how this question might be approached. The mechanism of a double suspension works in—and un-works—my writing. It follows what Hölderlin himself in his “Notes” calls a “double inﬁdelity.” Suspending at once, art and thought, (the) work and (the) subject, it is destined to open an “other” space of response, since the “other” is perhaps precisely other than thought— or, at least, that thought which has deﬁned itself in terms of the concept: thought as a place of gathering, thinking as concentration. My reading of Hölderlin owes a considerable debt to and is to some extent a reading of Lacoue-Labarthe’s “The Caesura of the Speculative.” Yet, what I propose here tends to diverge from Lacoue-Labarthe’s
* I wish to thank Mark Ryder, Rainer Nägele, Howard Caygill and Eduardo Cadava for their comments and corrections to this piece of writing at various stages of its realisation.
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interpretation as regards, I would say, its destination, and a sense of space or closure that comes as an effect of “destiny” (destination as diverted by desire). Where he states that Hölderlin “was not able to give rise to any logic that might have been properly his own and that could have brought about a scission,” 3 there I do not quite agree, or, only to the point that this must inescapably be the conclusion, if the question’s origin and destination is philosophical, and even, philosophy itself. It is not, that such a work as “The Caesura of the Speculative” does not also exceed the strictly philosophical at times—quite the opposite, this excess is precisely its challenge and its immense interest for works of a non-philosophical direction—yet, it returns to itself, it never forgets its destination, which is, without doubt, philosophical. This “return to itself” is, what since Aristotle has been called entelechia, a textual as well as a properly philosophical device of a return, an identiﬁcation of destination and origin. It is precisely the return to the same and the self which Hölderlin severely unsettles in and with his “Anmerkungen.” He lets “himself” be challenged, puts his writing, his text, and not only that, at risk. For the challenge of following the other turn, that is to say, the turn of the tragic, he abandons, or rather, he will have deserted at some point, the traditional, that is, the philosophical sublimation of the contradiction which comes with suffering—and the sublimation of another contradiction, which, perhaps not altogether different, comes with art.4 In my reading, I tend to accentuate the scission that is indeed working in Hölderlin’s writing, that is productive, even if it did not (not yet) produce another thought, another philosophy, not even, another literature. I pursue this reading of an accentuation of a certain dissolution—and I will continue to insist on the productive force of this paradox—along the lines of scission drawn by a question of form. The diversion of Hölderlin’s work from the philosophical, or certainly, from philosophy, begins to become severe, that is to say, cutting, with the consideration of “(re)cognition” (and, perhaps, with what exceeds it).5 The “question of form” is, for Hölderlin, not simply a question, neither does it succumb to “formalism.” It is a matter of elaboration, operation, organisation, realisation—in Blanchot’s words, work and unworking; it is experimentation and experience. And thus, “(re)cognition” becomes here less a matter of identiﬁcation, of the distinction of the subjective and the objective, than a matter of form, of formalising, of recognising form, recognising a structure, type, in and as formal repetition. Recognition becomes an afﬁrmation of a formal repetition, a procedure and an operation, which, again and
again, submits form and ﬁgure to time and to listening. And the afﬁrmation of repetition is necessary. The (sense of) time Hölderlin’s short piece of prose writing gives to its reader, is rather more like time spent listening to a piece of music than time spent reading a philosophical text. What follows is a close reading of Hölderlin’s “Anmerkungen zum Ödipus,” the “Notes” which append (that is to say, in its published form)6 his translation of the Sophoclean tragedy. The “Notes” consist of three parts. I concentrate on the third and read the text from there, “backwards.” The language is of an unspeakable, delirious density [Dichte]. What interests me here is how two of the most urgent modern issues can be, in this text from the very beginning of the 19th century, at once, so much at stake and not a matter of questions. One concerns our questioning of an adequate representation of suffering, the other the division of what goes under the name “practice and theory,” or also, “art and work.” That is to say, I am interested in what Hölderlin does in writing when he concerns himself with tragedy—as it is, of course, never simply a doing, but always also passion—and perhaps, this is so even more violently in the very proximity of translation. Anticipating, I would already like to note at this point that Hölderlin comes to write about tragedy in terms of the “tragic transport.” Transport can be rendered as Über-tragung, that is, also, trans-lation. For Hölderlin, the tragic is essentially linked to forms of trans-port, of trans-lation. The translation of “a tragedy,” indeed, is tragic, it moves in a space of duplication, in which the tragic will have already become unspeakable and unreadable, a space in which it comes to ﬁgure, comes to stand there as form. It is this experience which becomes inscription and work in the “Notes,” and, I would even say, song and triumph.7 Here is a translation of the beginning of the third part of the “Anmerkungen”:
The (re)presentation of the tragic rests, principally, on the fact that the monstrous [das Ungeheure]—how the god and man join together and the power of nature and the innermost being of man boundlessly become as one in fury—is to be understood through the boundless becoming-one being puriﬁed by boundless separation.8
Die Darstellung des Tragischen. (Re)presentation of the tragic. There is no before or behind of (re)presentation, nor is there another tragic. (Re)presentation of the tragic always [vorzüglich, superbly, preferably]
and a matter of uncertainty. “The god. The monstrous appears as the mode of a coupling. The monstrous. and only once. is a “site” where space most perfectly disappears—and where even this disappearance disappears. and. A fragment contemporary with the “Anmerkungen” begins: “Was ist Gott. the absolute. other than in the case of “man. It is boundless becoming-one and boundless separation. Representation is the reality. It is one and it is double. wie der Gott und Mensch sich paart. shares the same etymological root with monumentum: something which shows “itself”—and too much. and yet / Full of qualities is the face / Of heaven with him”]. something monstrous. as he puts it. In the case of “god. when it concerns the tragic.10 Der Gott und Mensch. and it is (re)presentation from the start. An encounter of an excessive.” this god. Das Ungeheure. be it deﬁnite or indeﬁnite. and this (as if) in one or. like the appearance of a space which is “normally” too familiar to appear as space.MLN
rests on something. the “un-housely”] would be the irritating moment of a self-showing of a space made to be occupied. at least: it remains unknown. The German unheimlich marks the alienating appearance of an absence.” the inhabited. relating to the Latin monere. Perhaps. in a monstrous collision. “Music” and “madness” (mania) should be seen as members of the same (etymological) family. at once. amounts to a limitation. a demonstration at once monumental and unfaithful. unbekannt. what is so monstrous about it. on the monstrous [das Ungeheure]. “the god and man. to show. rather the (enormous and outrageous) appearance of an absence of some-thing. what always has to remain without translation. There is always and already (re)presentation. of. the absolutely other—boundlessly empty. This is the very tendency. strange (barbarous) and beyond measure (unfathomed). It really is tragic. das Ungeheure [unge-huire. as one in fury. in the drama of Hölderlin’s writing.”11 It is only here. dennoch / Voll Eigenschaften ist das Angesicht / Des Himmels von ihm. There is no doubt.” [“What is God? Unknown. or some space.” Das Ungeheure. a tragic one. directly related to the monstrous coupling of “the god and man.”9 Der Gott. or. the tragic is real. a distancing. Der Gott und Mensch. the inclination (and I do not say “essence”) of Hölderlin’s writing: representation is (the) tragic. a too much and a too little of deﬁnition and address is the very trace of
. If “Home. It is neither simply a thing nor a space. is not (the) all. the moment of a coincidence. and this is also. to warn. that “man” lacks the deﬁnite article.” the article. and particularly. in the ﬁrst sentence of the third part. inﬁnitely rich.
.” With a gesture of deﬁnition— directed toward the monstrous. there is escape. It is the intimacy of the monstrous [das Ungeheure]. a time-bound lifting of gravity. the very repetition. yet its paradoxical and constitutive boundlessness [Grenzenlosigkeit] of exchange [Wechsel] is bound—that is. always and already united before uniting [Eineswerden]. that there lies a threat of dissolution that always comes with the tragic. of what shows itself [monstrare] as the all too familiar. coupled in a monstrous dissent. according to Lacoue-Labarthe. a necessary interruption. This. what Hölderlin calls the boundless becoming-one purifying itself in boundless separation. inescapably. it inscribes itself as an event in history. There is escape from representation. coupled [gepaart] before any text.”14 The tragic does take place and it takes up time. which is a double boundlessness. and it is when there is “representation itself. and of miming in some form. and this escape is formal. the task of repeating again and again. as if it were in pain or pleasure or death. Boundless [grenzenloses] becoming-one purifying itself in boundless separation. what repetition of form. which Hölderlin describes in terms of and as the caesura. the inﬁnity of representation. and even enjoying. by necessity—to interrupt time and history and thought. “The God and man” summons up the intimacy and terror of limitlessness with and in “itself” as the other.” of the involvement of an “I. and it is what form.” when “representation itself appears. other than—and this is less an escape. There is no escape from the monstrous uncertainty of (re)presentation. a temporary.” when “die Vorstellung selber erscheint. in its hyperbolic. be it only a relief. This is to say. It is this interruption. a relief which might not come without horror.12 Der Gott und Mensch. of tragic (re)presentation. coupled with and in an excess of deﬁnition (de-ﬁnition). It is precisely and “only” a formal escape—and only by insisting on. The tragic is an inﬁnity of exchange without resolution—boundless becoming-one and boundless separation —and it is with and in this inﬁnity. a monstrous unity—my mouth gapes open. by exhausting. than another monstrosity—“representation itself”. its double and doubling force. a becoming uncanny [unheimlich] of what sounds so familiar. the paradox can there be something like (re)cognition.1056
“man. and what rhythm does in time and to time. or rather the one. the absolute other.13 The paradox of limitlessness encountering another limitlessness in an inﬁnite collision. “the god and man” is—and this is also transported via the use of the singular rather than the plural in the verb—already one. in other words. I am at a loss for speech.
it is a typical philosophical (reduction of) recognition. it is here that the cut appears “itself. There is no such thing as. In a philosophical reading. and this can be “shown”: it is super-speculation.. in other words. thus nonetheless. or the monstrous per se.. of thinking. and even. Die Darstellung des Tragischen beruht vorzüglich darauf. It cannot be known as/by “itself..e.” it is the speculative which turns: “the very excess of the speculative switches into the very excess of submission to ﬁnitude. of culture.” Lacoue-Labarthe’s reading. the turn of the tragic. and this is what Lacoue-Labarthe describes as “the caesura of the speculative. at once and inescapably also the very sublimation of representation.” A hyperbolic separation holds and divides. Caesura: it is here that diversion becomes cutting. philosophical in origin and destination.. a re-appropriating ﬁdelity to the philosophical has led to an inversion. an excess of speculation. The (re)presentation of the tragic does not rest in or on itself.”15 Yet.” it cannot be controlled by recourse to the self/same (yet what indeed could be controlled by it?). which is. “a catharsis of the speculative. the tragic itself. it is always and already also a matter of theory. the caesura. forced into an encounter with an insistence in form and time—an insistence realised in and by poetic form—breaks off and gives way to an unprecedented generalisation of the tragic. of history. daß das Ungeheure [.
. This notion of a possibility of ((re)cognition of) tragic (re)presentation is something like super-speculation.]. and thus of (re)cognising. to something like an inﬁdelity. The tragic is the entrance and the “work” of the contradictory [das Wider-sprüchliche]. precisely in and through philosophical. i. this turn realises itself. an unprecedented “view” on the “catastrophe” [Umkehr] of thought. a separation that is the very possibility and end of theory. The caesura also caesura-s the interruption “itself. the reality of tragic (re)presentation. on stage. a desire to match (couple) beginnings and ends. leads to the suggestion of a “generalisation of catharsis. sublimation. The tragic has become a measure of reality.” and even. And at this point. speculative. It is inescapable—perhaps. one has already abandoned the possibility of following.MLN
cannot but take place in a theatre. which. it can of course be controlled.”16 The reading I am pursuing points toward a generalisation of the tragic. in a kind of short-circuit. By giving way to a speculative control of the tragic. holds by dividing “itself”.] sich begreift [. That is. It is the demand for “(re)cognition” which turns (in)to identiﬁcation. It is a problem of identity. in Hölderlin’s writing. of aesthetic and historical representation.
” appearing in the ﬁrst sentence of part one of the “Anmerkungen zum Ödipus.”18 or “the appropriation of a divine position [.. citing Hölderlin. formalism (and to provide the means for another return.20
The generalisation of the tragic—necessarily following from and presupposing an afﬁrmation of representation as the tragic—puts issues of time and of form at stake with an unprecedented insistence.”17 A kind of humanism. and provocatively. The reading I am pursuing is. which it (the reading) has come to listen to in Hölderlin’s words.” as Lacoue-Labarthe has it. This radical appearance of a detachment is all too often. sich vergessen [to forget
. I stay with this term for now). “The very excess of submission to ﬁnitude.”19 Lacoue-Labarthe’s reading is not free of “the madness of the self-consciousness” which it reads in Hölderlin. in order to secure for today’s poets a bourgeois existence— taking into account the difference of times and institutions—if we elevate poetry today to the mhxanÆ of the ancients. It makes for a provocative opening of the “Notes. his pious inﬁdelity. To put time and form at stake. here is the continuation of the list: sich aufheben [to cancel itself]. it is with the “generalisation of catharsis” that a problematic fundamentalisation of the sacriﬁcial takes hold.] and the appropriation of the right to institute difference by oneself.
It will be good. reduced. der Gott und Mensch paart sich [the god and man couples “him”self]. in other words.1058
typically by-passing (the question of) form and measure. In Hölderlin’s writing on the tragic. And it continues in such a way. to use means/media.. understands itself]. and even moralism. such as it manifests itself in what LacoueLabarthe calls. bound in identiﬁcation. as human ﬁnitude. and. Or. It is at its most problematic in/as a certain accentuation of “the subject”: “‘the subject’ of tragedy or of the dramatic utterance. becomes diverted. grasps.”21 In the third part of the “Anmerkungen. in a tone of accusation: formalism. Mittel anwenden. sich mitteilen [to communicate itself]. that all main verbs in this third and last part of Hölderlin’s text are reﬂexive. das grenzenlose Eineswerden reinigt sich [the boundless becoming-one puriﬁes itself]. slips in. not free of a radical detachment. is what is denoted by the Greek term mhxanÆ. in turn. all too easily. and often. returned and reduced to “its proper” place: art. is indeed essential—and this shows.” an accumulation of reﬂexive verbs is linked within temporal structures of on-going processes: das Ungeheure begreift sich [the monstrous touches. and perhaps all to diligently: “the ‘categorical’ turning about of the divine corresponds to the volte-face of man toward the earth.
in the word. at an analogous position in the text (also at the beginning of part three).” as if detached from all consciousness: in the “Anmerkungen zur Antigone.” he writes. is hardly a scene at all. as a testimony without witness. A monstrous mechanics which betrays itself in grasping (at) itself [sich be-greifen]. A treacherous faithfulness. sich vergessen [to forget itself]. Everything is speech against speech. one could begin to trace the cut that gapes between Freud and Hölderlin—that is. a coiled up fury.” “alles ist Rede gegen Rede die sich
itself]. sich wenden [to turn itself]. The (re)presentation of the tragic rests calmly on the horriﬁc scene like a statue leaning. A point of catastrophic detachment from which nonetheless.” “ein Bewußtsein welches das Bewußtsein aufhebt. untouched and untouchable [unbegreiﬂich as impossible to behold and understand]. the net and connections of words are to be witnessed.”22 From here.”25 In the “Anmerkungen zum Ödipus. rather than bound to the visual. a witnessing detached from the “self. The hyperbolic form of the tragic realises itself in language. and only grasped (at) by itself [sich begreifen]. on a plinth. and between Hölderlin and Hölderlin—between (re)presentations of a spectatorship of the tragic scene and those of an audience of the tragedy of speech. alienating and alienated in its distant familiarity. Yet it is witnessing nonetheless. one cancelling [itself in] the other. We should. and thus from a position of powerlessness. note here immediately the typographic delimitation of the above visual metaphor: the tragic. a becoming of speech and counter-speech—and a becoming all too familiar. Circularity as reﬂexivity [re-ﬂexive—literally: to bend back] seems implicated here—and in more than one way.24 It is absolute reﬂexivity without return. It is a becoming of listening and of language. for Hölderlin. “everything is speech against speech. The intimacy of this dialogue threatens to “tear apart the soul of the listener. in whose centre. sich umkehren [to turn itself]. also. Alles ist Rede gegen Rede. a turning which however never returns to “itself”—beginning and end simply do not rhyme [Anfang und Ende sich (in ihr) schlechterdings nicht reimen läßt]. however. as it were. of a monstrosity which has to be witnessed by listening. the tragic is a movement of reﬂexivity.” Hölderlin speaks of a “consciousness which cancels consciousness. with as much elegance as indifference. in speech. The monstrous is the troubling approach of an intimacy in terms of a becoming-speech. the monstrous [das Ungeheure] lies. between Freud and Freud. a circularity. sich (nicht) reimen [(not) to rhyme itself].23 In Hölderlin’s writing.
empty exchange (transport. as Hölderlin says). a man listening. Hölderlin has been speaking here of the “lamenting. is the one who is in or on the side of the
. The tragic is a matter of a fascinated speech. The emphasis of this phrase. of “the god” and “this man. the peaceful.” rather than somebody. it speaks at the limit of a collapse. a monumentality against monumentality cancelling out itself. the distance between language and speech.” the violent encounter of the particular and the “all too inﬁnite” takes place when language becomes speech. but it is not “me” who speaks. at the risk of life and death: “Das Wort aus begeistertem Munde ist schrecklich.30 Perhaps. The tragic comes with and as an excessive fascination with language which (and when it) becomes “mine. his nefas. sacrilegiously. the crime. the “all too inﬁnite” (he interprets the words of the oracle “all too inﬁnitely”) and “the particular”: “Who is this man whose fate the God pronounces?”27 A monstrous coupling of “the god and man. unfaithfully faithful—in time and space and word stands there in/as utter strangeness. of “a language almost in the manner of furies. as if “in a priestly fashion.”28 An excessive fascination (fas-cination) speaks—almost by deﬁnition. the natural or the divine law is related to the Latin fari and the Greek fhm¤. of speaking. in a ﬁnite poetic space. between “the god” and “this man”: fas is the law inscribed in language. it is what has been spoken. the turning of speculation “itself” appears: speculation without proﬁt. also to sing—always at the risk of tempting the ne-fas.” “eine Sprache beinahe nach Furienart.1060
gegenseitig aufhebt. Oedipus’ crime. radically submitting to the conditions of form/time/listening. “its own” excessive residue and resemblance.” seems strange. Excessive fascination speaks. as if this were possible. the religious. as if he were a priest (“in priestly fashion”). for Hölderlin. the pious lie” in the chorus “scenes” of the Oedipus.” The ne-fas. the referent uncertain. that is. and kills ” ]. then (and it is indeed a radical temporalisation which takes hold). negativity without sublimation. or singing. “just these listeners. is that he “himself ” attempts to link. a super-speculation realised—in a procedure. According to Hölderlin’s translation. at once lawful and maniac: fas.” it is a gamble in-between “the word” and my word. between speech and “my” speech. However. to speak.”26 When super-speculation realises itself in an absolute reﬂexivity without return. “the listener.29 A dialogue which wants to tear apart the soul of just these listeners [ein Dialog.” and even. would be the moment when the distance to “the word” collapses. und tötet ” [“The enthusiastic word is terrible. der die Seele eben dieser Hörer zerreißen will].
The Latin religatio [re-ligo] renders a binding [always and already a rebinding].” It is more a dreaming of space. what he calls. He even warns of a deteriorating effect this music threatens to have.” and as “holding and interpreting.32 Hölderlin’s inclination toward issues of form in the wake of a radical generalisation of the tragic already announces itself in the ﬁrst sentence of the ﬁrst part of the “Anmerkungen zum Ödipus. it is written in the “proper” language of poetry [Poesie]. Hölderlin’s dramaturgical works. more or
.” the more “violent or irresistible dialogue. In the “Anmerkungen zur Antigone.” it is more a celebration of speech.MLN
chorus—lamenting.”31 Witnessing by listening as on the side of the chorus is a space which opens for the listener of tragic speech: “lamenting. are seen.” or more precisely.” Here is a moment where the movement of a “disorganising of tragedy” can be traced as it turns.” Aristotle emphasises in his Poetics the more musical character of the chorus parts.” and that the parts of the chorus function in tragedy as the “suffering organs. Hölderlin’s “disorganising of tragedy. particularly as set and held in comparison with the lyric. that is. the speculative twists. pious lie. as Lacoue-Labarthe notes.” Lacoue-Labarthe discusses. of the dramatic events. religious. poetry as mhxanÆ. a listeningspeaking “in chorus.” more song than speech. a “mechanics” of poetry. as a merely eccentric supplement.” than an interval “of itself. What I attempt to inscribe here within the deﬁnition of a double genitive—the language of poetry. it holds onto deﬁnition and keeps it at play—and this is not without irony here. religious—represented by and in the chorus. the structure of) the chorus as separate from and opposed to [im Gegensatze mit] the otherwise “dialogical form. The “Anmerkungen. an unbinding of the transfer of language where it tends toward the meaningless.” Hölderlin speaks of (the parts.” There. It is a boundlessness close to religion.” In “The Caesura of the Speculative. in the language of his profession which he advocates here. It is less something “in itself. the language of his profession—continues to mock deﬁnition. than space “itself. with “the later poets” (after Sophocles) transfering (a certain anticipation of the Hölderlinean transport) choral pieces indiscriminately from one tragedy to another. in terms of a “re-turn to Aristotle. peaceful. empty lament. peaceful. as Lacoue-Labarthe suggests it. A space apart from the dialogical furies. A Hölderlinean dissolution of tragedy takes place. Music as the song of the tragic chorus enters “the scene” as the binding and un-binding. the boundless threat of indiscriminate repetition.
.” implodes within a word. with/in irony. Here. which is at stake. the tragic triumph of writing. extensive use of the ambiguity inherent in language and its inescapable multiplications of meaning. . in a mere word. Just as much as. one has to be watchful that everything is some-thing .” Language should be a message and an information. properly transportable. of art and mechanics. over mediation [Vermittlung/ Mittelbarkeit]. one has particularly to take into consideration in relation to every thing. Mediation looks like a school-master. “murderous factuality” (“the word”) and “strict mediation. a passion in-between an acclaimed vital centrality (moyen). rather than ironic tone. knowable according to the school-master. that its mode of conditioning may be determined and learned.” as Hölderlin also says. that it is a something. As if a play of mhxanÆ. that everything is ‘its own means’ to understanding . it transports irony—and again.1062
less “theoretical. something knowable—that is. that is. . foreshadows and causes (a) real tragedy—and it
. and thus. at once. the very effort of explicitness will have already become ambiguous. “Amongst man.” The bracketed French moyen forms a particular means of transport. and I extend here by analogy. a calculable average. It supports and repeats a certain contamination of the German Mittel (means) which can also designate a Mittel-punkt. It is an irony which will have already been inherent in language that also ﬁnds its way into Hölderlin’s words and text:33
Here hides and reveals itself. The tragedy of the tragic.35 This structural irony lies in the coupling of Hölderlin’s explicit insistence on a “strict mediation” [strenge Mittelbarkeit]. that every-thing can be classiﬁed and taught. that is to say. It is a structure of irony. of “the word. a transfer of knowledge. this shows.36 and his. . the middle.” not to say marginal to Hölderlin’s work. as does moyen. something should show—“through the means of its manifestation” [in dem Mittel seiner Erscheinung]—whether it is to be understood as tragic or not. that it is something knowable through the means (moyen) of its manifestation. a centre. It lies. in the very phrase “im Mittel (moyen) seiner Erscheinung ”: a “(re)cognition” which realises itself “through the means (moyen) of its manifestation. since it is always and already the demand for mediation “itself”: everything should be some-thing. in particular—and this form of particularity is decisive in Hölderlin’s writing—in the staged coupling. In the middle of a call for proper mediation. “proper” mediation is put on stage to subvert itself as if from its very “centre.” from inside.
since it is precisely by means of a “correct” installation of “spirit” at the expense of “technique. whose “end” and destination is. and from the point of view of a future aftermath.” “in such moments man forgets himself and turns around like a traitor. his calling on poetic mhxanÆ.”40 “The word” of
. not without an accentuated “self”irony—to the typical counter-argument [Wider-spruch] of the artist.” Hölderlin submits—ironically. the exclusion of art as merely technical.e. deceit.” Hölderlin writes in the “Anmerkungen zur Antigone. a radical turning away. of course. a play of words and a mere word-play. or “strict mediation. of a forgetting. The irony is pre-emptive. after the turn (and this is what Hölderlin refers to as inﬁdelity): philosophy will have become the destination of a movement without name and without origin. a rather twisted irony. as if there would have never been a philosophy before. It is inescapable.”39 Once again. ironically. the tragic presentation principally consists of the factual word which. The factual word is “the god” and it is his ﬁgure. being more a relation than something that is stated explicitly. moves by destiny from the beginning to the end. The tragic—and this deserves to be afﬁrmed and shown—is. a forgetting of “self” (of the model of the self/same). Structural irony also lies in Hölderlin’s provocative citation of mhxanÆ.37 It is known to be not only a “properly” philosophical. lacking truth from a properly philosophical realm of “spirit” [noËw]. without doubt. other than “(it)self. “Beginning and end do not rhyme. an absolute reﬂexivity without return marks itself. to play down “technique” and insist on “inspiration” as the limit of art. which Hölderlin in and with his “Anmerkungen” designates as (the) tragic.” The tragic is a word and it is factual. What follows is a kind of forgetting.MLN
does. comes to bear.” or. since the provocative insistence on mhxanÆ coincides with Hölderlin’s excessively philosophical approach to the question of the tragic. and this time. the very moment. present in the ﬁgure of death. Something has been done with and in the word. but also a typical strategy of specularisation. is also ironic). and that is. Yet the turn of irony also and already exceeds irony. always and already. its unidentiﬁable identity. it is “the god. Or. in other words.” i. “However. as it begins to resemble in advance another move: the turn of a double inﬁdelity. imitation.” other than philosophical. This being another pre-emptive manoeuvre (not every pre-emptive move. The twisting of a philosophy. as it is put toward the end of the “Anmerkungen. however. that philosophy establishes “itself” as/within the very return to “(it)self.”38 An ironical twist.
in a process involving contradiction [Wider-spruch. and realises some-thing—something other than “itself”—something which nonetheless also testiﬁes to form. which leaves the demand of speculative structures empty. a double inﬁdelity. is an ambition which carries Hölderlin’s thought and “tragic project” beyond philosophy: philosophy having installed itself as that which attempts the return to “(it)self.”42 An accumulation of the grammatical form of the comparative deﬁnes the effective territory of “strict mediation”: (re)cognition is possible only by means of contrast. which could be received as/within speaking and listening.” Hölderlin writes in “Das Höchste. is a recognition without recognition. a double forgetting. but which may just as well be a perfectly silent. this other “recognition. Supreme (re)cognition. though it shows a resistance to the model of the self/ same.” as a double turning away. its specularisation in/as the imprint. a standing there in/as a ﬁgure.” rather than the possibility of (re)cognition. and nonetheless. its “highest” ground.41 With tragic (re)presentation—whether or not it is more or less mediate. structure. more ancient—it will have always become inescapable: death is “merely” a ﬁgure. a certain inﬁdelity.43 The “strictly mediate.” the supreme. death and murder. Hölderlin inscribes and stages this other typing. As Lacoue-Labarthe has put it elsewhere. “for the tragic must be comprehended herein. a ﬁdelity to the philosophical which leaves philosophy “proper” and turns away. forms of death. “The strictly mediate is the law. without “subject” or “object. Gegen-rede]. but because it provides for the “highest ground of (re)cognition” [den höchsten Erkenntnisgrund]. which is always a matter of form and time. more modern.” one of the late Pindar fragments. not because it is the highest power. without response. less (re)cognition “itself. a word even. murderous relation [Zusammenhang]. Hölderlin’s approach is excessively philosophical.” than its foremost. by law. or certainly. the king. its specularisation. there is “nothing to do with death but dramatise it.” may often end “deadly. supreme “(re)cognition” takes place on the grounds of representation.” merely “its” form.” a movement of identiﬁcation which does not pass without a certain forcing of the “properly” philosophical. (re)cognition. this is the presence of death.”44 The insistence that. The “recognition” at stake. always. “Die strenge Mittelbarkeit aber ist das Gesetz.1064
the (re)presentation of the tragic is factual. it is death. the iteration and the rhythm
. is its supreme realisation and ﬁguration. And this. takes place on the grounds of representation. It is the inescapable law of representation.45 It is a tempting of ﬁdelity.
the ﬁrst in the language of explicit poetic laws and mechanics. Hölderlin presents the mechanics of the turn by means of extensive citations from his translation of the Sophoclean text. it always provides the lead for a turning. in and through the opening of a space which is yet a gap (again: like an open mouth .” or rather. acts as if against god and recognises the spirit of the highest as lawless. a position of mediation.” in its second.”48 The desire for and the tempting of origins—always also the desire for “my” origin—does not lead (back) to any beginning. and carries him off to another world. to the laws of poetics and to the laws of dramatic speech (dramatisation). its middle part. destination and destiny. the second “eccentric” language. more and less than two. In the “Anmerkungen zum Ödipus. of his writing:“Wo einer. The desire for origins always ends in (a turn to) mourning. This realisation. It is also known as the hyperbolic: the more and less than one. The accumulation of comparatives in Hölderlin’s writing traces the “working” of a double inﬁdelity as the very loosening of speculative structures.49 The two “eccentric” parts. It is a catastrophe which “snatches man from his sphere of life. at the median point of his inner life.46 In the “Anmerkungen zur Antigone. in the sense of god. wie gegen Gott sich verhält. the course of dramatic speech. The catastrophe is the very turn where excessive mediation coincides with the tempting of origins. However. transports the last part. in the central part around the oracle of Teresias.). the third in yet another language. according to Hölderlin’s reading. . und den Geist des Höchsten gesetzlos erkennt. it seems to me. .” to self-knowledge. into a central position. the mechanics foreshadowing and causing the catastrophe of Oedipus’ life are played out (Oedipus out-plays “himself”). unfaithful to either side. it could be said.” [“where someone. the eccentric sphere of the dead.” Hölderlin articulates a sacrilege which could also name the movement. to a (re)cognition of “(it)self. in Gottes Sinne. Both sides speak the laws of the
. from where the mechanics of (poetic) text and (dramatic) “narrative” correspond to each other. more difﬁcult to name.”]47 Here is indeed the middle and the means of Hölderlin’s work on “the Oedipus.MLN
of “its” form. that the third part might begin to realise itself in a language of inﬁdelity which it also explicitly announces: “to communicate (itself) in the allforgetting form of unfaithfulness” [in der allvergessenden Form der Untreue sich mitteilt]. part one and three of the “Anmerkungen” deliver the analysis again in other languages. or.” Concerning the “narration.
at this moment. perhaps another listening. the man forgets himself and the God.50 Here is the caesura as it speaks “itself” in Hölderlin’s writing. agony. the eccentric sphere of the dead. in such a way that it is not now the succession of representations that appears but representation itself.1066
world. As Levinas articulates it: “my solitude is not conﬁrmed by death but broken by it. Time because at such a moment it undergoes a categoric change and beginning and end simply no longer rhyme within it. what in metrics is called a caesura.52 At such a moment.”55 And Hölderlin responds (to the limit): “man is entirely in (the) moment
. the God forgets himself because he is nothing but time. the turbulent succession of representations. man because. “in der äußersten Grenze. the limiting interiority of an ég≈n.54 This interiority at the outer limit—agonia. and turns around. and the law obliterating the story. of one side becoming the ob-literation of the other: of dramatic speech obliterating the mhxanÆ of poetics. he can simply no longer be as he was in the beginning. and even. the struggle unto death—is also an opening to and an approaching of the other. each time a becoming of another language:
Thus.51 He (Teresias) makes his entry under the course of destiny like the seer who can see into the force of nature [Naturmacht] which. tragically. he has to follow the categorical turning away and that thus. becomes necessary to counteract. with/in the allforgetting form of inﬁdelity. in the rhythmic succession of representations [Vorstellungen] through which the transport is (re)presented [sich darstellt]. an opening to some kind of communion.” and three times over. Yet here. begins to allow for speech: perhaps there could be another language. an excessive coincidence without collapse. perhaps. always under the threat of a collapse of difference.” As if. “in” the extreme limit. in his “Anmerkungen zum Ödipus. a third side. At this point. at the median point of his inner life. as a consequence. the counter-rhythmic interruption. the very limit of what is sufferable becomes or forms still—or again—something like a space. a forgetting. certainly an enclosure. the pure word. of art and of history jealously in their “own” tone. a limit has become a space. admittedly in a holy way. nothing indeed remains but the conditions of time or space. and thus. in suffering. snatches man from his sphere of life. the man forgets himself because he is entirely within the moment. of life. at its acme. At the extreme limit of suffering [Leiden: pathos]. like a traitor. and both are unfaithful. and carries him off to another world.53
At the extreme limit of suffering: in Hölderlin’s words.
of sorrow. A (re)turn of the “pure word. It remains: the nothing. he “is” not. It is interruption and event in history. the becoming of another language.”58 The caesura appears as if it were the point of a rupture.” Levinas writes. a play of grief. a playing of and at representation.” a rhythm which comes to form in the ﬁgure of no-ﬁgure. which is (a) becoming form. where “something” can appear. and also the beginning of every-thing: a play of representations. experience. and also.” it cuts “from the beginning to the end.MLN
[im Moment]. an event. the caesura: double (self)forgetting. double turning away. “himself” a ﬁight of utter (self)forgetfulness. all-forgetting but. Conditions of time or space. at the end. What remains is (the) nothing as it cuts. “His” solitude. the form of a cut. a coming to form. in time. of lament. and the most unbounded of all. while rhythm and counter-rhythm nonetheless. he is nothing but momentary (spatial and temporal) conditions—which. does not come without an un-binding of responsibility.57 “The tragical transport is essentially empty. tragedy can be translated as “Trauerspiel.” This enclosure or this interiority at the very limit of “itself. yet it also interrupts time. nonetheless.” surprising as it may seem. unbinding and boundless. representation “itself. and with Hölderlin. a moment of turning about. an end of ﬁguration as a (re)turn. In German.” the unsettling presentation of a boundlessness which is also split. moment. it is experienced as/in a moment. The hyperbolic takes place as a becoming of form. yet its working is that of the “counter-rhythmic.” so that beginning and end “no longer rhyme within it.” “Man” is nothing but momentary. Perhaps it is even the becoming of form. a reﬂexivity apart from the “I. an empty play. The very appearance of (the) nothing. the gap. Tragedy is also play. “Something” which is (the) nothing.” the “counter-rhythmic intervention”
. “Man” “is” in the embrace of utmost exteriority. and “something” does remain. still form. Empty conditionality is the limit of what is sufferable.56 Caesura. boundless responsibility. “Self-forgetfulness as a ﬁrst abnegation. come to a kind of balance [Gleichgewicht]. An interruption of time and space takes place in time and space as a cut and the precarious balance [Gleichgewicht] of what has been cut. What remains. Yet the appearance of a nothingness cuts horizontally through whatever structures might have been there “before. is more and less than nothing. always more and less than double. a turning away. that is to say.” The caesura is not a point.” that is to say. It is the switch. double inﬁdelity—yet never simply double.
or double turn [Wende]: sich vergessen. is the (in)stability of the more and less than one.1068
cuts through—and binds—the entire third part of the “Anmerkungen. more and less than two. sich mitteilen [to communicate itself].d . The ﬁrst and the last verb form a frame. less a charged sublimation as “its” proﬁt and specularisation.e / f . and thus.. of equilibrium [Gleich-gewicht].63 it cannot be understood with any certainty whether “transport” is meant to be the
. since a variation—sich paaren/ sich reimen—is added. sich umkehren.” Examining the accumulation of reﬂexive verbs more closely. The text describes what is inscribed and takes place in the very rhythm of words: the impossibility of correspondence between beginning and end within a movement of reﬂexivity without return (to the self/same).60 And thus.” Hölderlin writes. sich (nicht) reimen [(not) to rhyme itself]. sich vergessen.f . a third side. while the following group forms a cross. a maximum of calculation and recognisable form and rhythm can be found. in/as which an encounter of succession [Aufeinanderfolge] and alternation [Wechsel] takes place in a correspondence of double inﬁdelity.] is more by counterpoise than by pure succession. whereby the ﬁrst forms a succession: sich begreifen.e. sich mitteilen. despite everything. the law [. or almost. alternation [Wechsel]. still and despite “itself” corresponds. “In Tragedy. sich vergessen [to forget itself].g . sich wenden [to turn itself]. sich reinigen.c .. This list is indeed not a list and is no simple accumulation. a space of balance.] ist im Tragischen mehr Gleichgewicht als reine Aufeinanderfolge. Hölderlin writes: “Der tragische Transport ist nämlich leer und der ungebundenste. Text and rhythm are bound by and in the (in)ﬁdelity of another. Impossibility of correspondence—Hölderlin’s speaks of a “categorical (re)turn” [kategorische Umkehr]—can only appear “itself” as far as it betrays itself [sich ver-raten]. The rhythm can be noted as: a / b . the last verb reimen appears in the negative form. which is. an embrace. Here is the list of verbs once again: sich begreifen [to grasp itself].g / (-) a. A hyperbolic alternation ﬁnds.. sich umkehren [to turn itself]. as far as it shows itself [sich darstellen]. sich reinigen [to purify itself]. The rhythm of a “categorical turning away” forms the framework.59 In tragedy. what counts. sich aufheben.62 From the original publication from 1804. sich wenden. as well as an inversion. sich paaren [to couple “itself”].” “Das Gesetz [. i.. sich aufheben [to cancel itself].”61 Lacoue-Labarthe remarks on the transport as being French in the original. sich vergessen [to forget itself]. The other eight verbs are bound in groups of four. rather than a discharge of a kind. but words necklaced and bound according to recognisable rules of poetic mhxanÆ.
the very unfolding of (a) play—play.” and I would even say. it could just as well be the English transport. in which the tragic comes to ﬁgure. if this has been a transport of some kind. The tragic is empty transport. Spiel. it carries over. According to the Duden.64 However. It is this experience which becomes inscription and work in the “Notes. which is “Ver-kehr ” (trafﬁc). However. it does not bind a thing. “Kehre” is the German “turn. it is a transport void of “its” very possibility.
. a space. is little recognised in spoken German. a precarious shifting of “its” experience and ﬁgure. translation. rhythm. a sense of transport as rapture or ecstasy (also common in English). journey. of words in song and rhythm. turn without return. Verkehr] as turning. a form which comes to pass. “transport ” entered the German language via the French. However. of tempting.” There is however also another translation of the Latin transport into German. The word is spelt with a capital T.MLN
French transport or the German Transport. when something was excluded—that is. from the transport—which is marked ﬁg.” What is at stake here—and at the very centre of Hölderlin’s writing—is translation “itself. It transports without binding the transported to the transporting or to the transport. “Trauerspiel. rhythms of trans-lation. yet “in fact” tending to ruin the double. never simply double. comes to stand there as ﬁgure. and too much. Über-tragung. in terms of an excess of space—a getting un-done of work in transfer. since this is what is absent from the German “Transport. The translation. while the parenthetic addition of the French moyen is set in the lower case. is tragic. a wandering. involving also tradition. it is transition.” And this is what (the Latin) transport also speaks. tragic transport does not transport a thing. of meaning in means. it transports no-thing. Tragic transport is experience and ﬁgure of detachment. an itinerary. die Über-tragung of (a) tragedy. that is to say. encounter or correspondence [i.. the Latin noun transportation denotes also a journey.e. as Hölderlin says in the “Anmerkungen” (and it is about a knowledge which wants to know more. the tragic transports. which is to say. yet never far from the excess of over carrying. forms of trans-port. for ﬁguré in the dictionary. For Hölderlin.”65 The tragic is essentially transport. turning away. indeed. it comes to pass as song and triumph. also. “more than it can bear or contain. Literally ver-kehren is turning around. Both words are set out in the ﬁrst edition (the text is printed in italics throughout). And it is thus also “the most unbound.” der ungebundenste.” “Ver-kehrt” means up-side-down. it also left a trace of division and departure in the French. in-side-out. though a connotation of trafﬁc. it moves in a space of duplication. that he says).
this is the inscription of an ecstasis. i. Change. a ﬁgure in-between mania “and” music. a matter of translation. and nothing more. with steps almost as light as a dance. even the most unthinkable.” It is the very subsiding of speech: “So
. that tragic transport also shows an inclination toward a “German” rendering of transport as ver-kehren. coming to stand there—in translation—almost like a ﬁgure: the hyperbolic “and” the muteness of a music. of the tragic “and” of representation. a halt. A presentation of the impossibility of correspondence which. and this is. away from a usual standing. It is with this turning away to begin with. also a stasis. between dissolution and immobilisation.1070
A translation which recalls a certain line of Antigone: “knowing (and she speaks of Sophocles’ language here) how to objectify the human mind as wandering beneath the unthinkable. ver-kehrt to begin with. Leaning toward a “French” or an “English” rendering could mean recognising a kind of ecstasy in the tragic. despite a somewhat typically overwhelming sense of wild (religious) frenzy and orgiastic rage. despite “itself. will have come to bear by walking [wandeln].” A rapture of transport has inscribed itself in Hölderlin’s words: a transport less bound to destination and vehicle than to movement and change.” sich entfernen.66 The tragic transport—Hölderlin writes. The tragic comes to pass in “the word” as the becoming of a coincidence of form/time/listening. It is an inscription which stands there. an ecstatic inclination of the tragic. and in the medium voice.67 between standstill. Thus the tragic transport holds “itself. It turns in between a “transport ” holding onto “itself” in translation and a “music ” which just cannot hold onto “itself. according to the inescapable turn. essentially formal. The Greek ¶k-stasiw presents.”68 To stand there as .” corresponds. turning away (in the “Anmerkungen zur Antigone” Hölderlin speaks of “vaterländische Umkehr. ﬁgure and rage.” in translation.e. to distance “oneself. . The German “wandeln” bears witness to an “idle” wandering and to transformation [Wandlung. a standstill. could be said than what stands there in the last sentence of the “Anmerkungen zum Ödipus. Verwandlung]. The very revolution and rhythm of turning. Hölderlin’s writing ﬁgures “itself” as the very movement of tragedy. Nothing else. revolution.” another translation of what appears in the “Notes” as faithful inﬁdelity). realisation carried “over” and down to “its” limit. Hölderlin’s presentation “on” the tragic cannot but stand there and stand out as a realisation of the tragic. . without doubt. §j¤sthmi means to put/stand away. a standing out(side). between turning around (ver-kehren) and ecstasis (transport).
the future. The reading and writing of a movement of dissolution comes as a formalism of a kind. which is. and it is thus the beginning which is to be protected from the end. The frightful appearance of a gap. a turning of destiny which Hölderlin often also names “patriotic” [vaterländische Umkehr]. is also a sexual Ver-kehr: ecstatic recognition.” [“Thus stands Haemon in the Antigone.” the inclination lies toward the beginning. un-bound from and inﬁnitely full of meaning: perhaps the becoming of an origin. it is the end which is to be protected from the beginning. the hyperbolic becomes the ﬁgure of recognition and its unsettling. Recognition. where it subsides. Yet the
. as he names it.MLN
steht Hämon in der Antigone. its testimony in a time of listening. Erkennen. to transport speech. this is also what/where the tragic is. perhaps a madness. And thus Oedipus himself at the centre of the Tragedy of Oedipus. according to Hölderlin’s analysis of the rhythm or the calculable law of tragedy. a ver-kehren of its erotic undercurrent to the surface. of form and measure (be it in terms of a mathematics or geometry. as an un-binding of recognition from “itself. This violent inclination toward what is unknown and still to come. pure dissolution—if there were such a thing. but toward a future. There is an inclination of the tragic toward ecstasis. When there is an inclination toward the end. leaning—and I am also thinking here again of Hölderlin’s analysis of various rhythms and inclinations of/in tragedy72—not toward an origin. the unsettling of the very dialectic of recognition in/as a ﬁgure and its tracing. a speaking muteness. Thus. its overwhelming translation in terms of orgiastic rage is by no means absent from Hölderlin’s writing of the tragic. outside speech. delirium. recognition does not come without a sense of ecstasis. is the necessary “result. that is. ver-kehrt to begin with. a cutting through its metaphysical ground.” from dialectics. a kind of hyper-recognition.” the ecstasis of a turn without return. rage. rhetoric or ethics). as Hölderlin puts it.70 With and in the tragic as Hölderlin writes it. again according to the principle and inescapable turn [kategorische Wende]. toward what is yet to come. then the caesura comes more toward the end. and its appropriation by logic or psychology. To recognise the hyperbolic is a matter of turning and cutting. since then.”]69 To bring. rather than as dissolution. The end which is to be protected from the beginning is also what is to come.71 The other side of ecstasis. “the word.” to “its” very limit. its realisation. So Ödipus selbst in der Mitte der Tragödie von Ödipus. While this is the rhythm of (re)presentation in the “Antigone.” in the “Oedipus. a revolution.
die Seele zerreißen (tear apart the souls). bis zur gänzlichen Erschöpfung (to the point of complete exhaustion). its rhythm and its destination have turned. in die exzentrische Sphäre der Toten reißen (torn off into the eccentric orbit of the dead). I will count the list of turns [Wendungen] as they come and without attending to their rhythm and rhyme:
reißender Wechsel (speeding alternation). seine Schranken durchrissen (broken through its limits). Since. zorniges Unmaß (angry immoderation).”73 The ecstatic inclination of the tragic also inscribes itself in Hölderlin’s writing. What is listed above recalls—perhaps without singing it.1072
end which turns toward the beginning in order to protect what is original. schrecklichfeierliche Formen (fearfully ceremonial forms). das furchtbare Wort (the terrible word). Here is the succession of its (re)presentations as they appear in the “Anmerkungen zum Ödipus. das niedertretende fast schamlose Streben (degrading. gewaltsamere Verhältnisse (violent circumstances). a (self)correspondence [ein sich mitteilen] in the all-forgetting form of inﬁdelity. äußerste Grenze des Leidens (the most extreme edge of suffering)74
What we have just traced as tragic transport and ecstatic inclination of the tragic. almost like the furies). by means of a divine inﬁdelity. zornige Ahnung (angry intimation).” “göttliche Untreue ist am besten zu behalten. wie trunken (as if intoxicated). das geisteskranke Fragen (insane searching). a Dionysian “heritage”
. the Bocksgesang. sich selbst reizt (it provokes itself). exzentrische Rapidität (eccentric rapidity). eine Sprache beinahe nach Furienart (language. It is a familiar melody. zerstörungsfroh (delights in destruction) der reißende Zeit nur folgen (and only follows the tearing rapacity of time).” and for now. im Zorn Eins werden (becoming one in rage). its punctuation. wunderbare zornige Neugier (amazing angry curiosity). the goats song. comes here in a typical song. yet not without a sense of discharge—tragƒd¤a. durch die folgenden hingerissen (torn along by the later ones). “divine inﬁdelity is best to retain. does so. sich paaren (uniting). almost shameless attempt). the Dithyrambos. as Hölderlin has it. das närrischwilde Nachsuchen (foolish wild search). wie ein Ketzergericht (like a trial of heresy). yet with Hölderlin’s translation of the tragic. zornige Empﬁndlichkeit (angry sensitivity). and necessarily. in eine andere Welt entrückt (removed to another world).
suspended—is a kind of “origin” in a space violently opened by a double inﬁdelity. a hyper-resemblance drifting toward identity. If it is translated. The movement of generalisation. the translation. Only translated are these works alive. a speculative reciprocity. by an un-binding or boundlessness of speculative structures. If one turns this “heritage” (which is also an ecstasis of heritage) and deﬁnes an origin. which follows the “categorical return. what might be secured—that is. this translation. The space of this protection. “transference” of a kind.” Blanchot notes:
“The responsibility for the future of a language that has no future.”76 or what has traditionally been known as musical catharsis.”80 There is resemblance at work. tragic transport would be lost in the closure of an identity. the rhythm punctuating this tradition. like the double foreignness between two languages.79 The end of chapter 21 of “The Birth of Tragedy” reads: “Dionysus redet die Sprache des Apollo.” leads to a yet
. an original unity. moreover. “eine Rückkehr zur Ur-heimat. In Hölderlin’s writing. is hyperbolic. the space which protects the impossible correspondence of divine inﬁdelity—rather than an “origin”—is “the musical. in the original language itself they are always as if retranslated and redirected toward what is most speciﬁc to them: the foreignness of origin.MLN
(and what exceeds it). the ecstasis of this heritage.”81 In Hölderlin’s rewriting of the tragic.75 The tragic transport is also and precisely the turning. a thinking of transference). or succeeds in turning the hiatus that lies open between the two languages into the origin of a new meaning. It is as if one were discovering between the two languages an understanding so profound.”82
Everything begins by (a) turning around. in the name of the original and without means of translation. Apollo aber schließlich die Sprache Dionysus. a generalisation of the tragic encounters a generalisation of translation as the violent and violating afﬁrmation of a unifying power which would be the very becoming of origin. There is an origin which is to be protected by divine inﬁdelity. Writing about the translation of classical works “which belong to a language that is not spoken. Blanchot writes on Hölderlin’s translations of the Antigone and the Oedipus:
“The result is almost frightful.”78
The Nietzschean rewriting of tragedy could be said to follow a thinking of transfer. though not without a sense of vertigo. a harmony so fundamental. and indeed.77 It is also a space opened by sacrilege. rather than translation (we could also say. that it substitutes itself for meaning. this transport.
it also becomes music. The rupture has almost turned indeﬁnite. An in-between space. imponderable. loses “itself” and “ends” (as if in some loose threads). on the fact that the monstrous [das Ungeheure]—how the god and man join together and the power of nature and the innermost being of man boundlessly become as one in fury—is to be understood through the boundless becoming-one being puriﬁed by boundless separation. he labours to suspend a collapse of difference in a space of a double inﬁdelity protected by “the musical. a departure [kayair°v: to take down. of “those emotions” [t«n toioÊtvn payhmãtvn]. or rather. to liberate from. Hölderlin returns to the point of interruption. a taking down. also. in Hölderlin’s writing.84
The (re)presentation of the tragic rests. it is a puriﬁcation of affects from their binding in/as expression. Yet here. to distance from oneself]. Hölderlin “composes” a movement unfaithful to (a theory of) dissolution and a religious or medical or musical discharge. guiding the strictures of sublimation down to a limit where they subside.83 Thus.1074
unheard–of un-binding of catharsis. to let down. In his writing and translation. of writing—in translation (that is. gesture. from their expressive charge—a dis-charge—which is at stake. a form of a listening standing there as—neither simply beat nor ﬁgure. a loosening of catharsis’ sacriﬁcial ties. with Hölderlin’s rewriting of tragedy. Musical catharsis. the translation of “Sophocles”)—the completion of “Aristotle. of taking the writing of a tradition and the tradition of writing down to “its” limit where it gets undone. torn open by the translator’s necessary double inﬁdelity. guilt. he draws out the lines of a tragic decline as it also takes place in the unravelling of dramatic threads after “the plot. There is a sense of completion. Hölderlin “composes” a movement of dissolution in/ of/as (the) tragic. it is more than a purging of “pity and terror” [¶leou kai fÒbou]. It is the boundlessness of dissolution which is frightful. In and with his translation of tragedy. Catharsis reveals itself as a movement of dissolution and puriﬁcation: a distancing [kaya¤rv: to clean. principally. to take away]. and puriﬁcation is almost immediately returned to “itself” and bound back into the order of expression.” or in other words. and more precisely.” in the taking down of speech to the limit where it subsides. Forcing a certain limit. by means of a relentless work of translation.” or certainly rhythm.85
Hölderlin’s radical unsettling of speculative structures brings about the exposure of an old rupture: the interruption of monotheism by Platonic dialectics. Western thought realises “itself” in the very balance of
and London: Harvard U. Hölderlin’s work and writing is also and essentially a “thinking” of and as translation. a boundless ég≈n. and perhaps. Moving backwards. but coming. Mass. and begins to appear as the frightful announcement of a future (be)coming of “the One. it invokes the (be)coming of “the One” and it suspends the threat of its arrival. I also consulted his “Hölderlin and the Greeks” published in the same volume. unknown. in the (im)possible correspondence of monotheism and dialectics: the specularisation of monotheism. the “Oedipus” and the “Antigone.” celebrating the necessity of a rhythm. is the afﬁrmation of a unifying power which will have been the very becoming of origin. A most proﬁtable specularisation of an impossible rupture. having been stabilised in accordance with the Question of Being.” An inﬁnite ecstasis. The generalisation of the tragic as a violent and violating work of translation. moving backwards. steadily.” Hölderlin calls them
. 1989). Monotheism. which continuously and rhythmically needs to be renewed in order to maintain an impossible correspondence as impossible: “the boundless becoming-one being puriﬁed by boundless separation. is already about to absent itself. a music of translation works to suspend “itself. between paralysis and triumph.P. resurfaces in and through translation. whereby the tragic becomes a measure of reality. in: Typography: Mimesis. ver-kehrt to begin with. as absent origin and lost unity. turning “its” back to any beginning. The destination of such a movement or programme of “translation” (a generalisation of translation) would be a future becoming of origin and unity. 213. as if Hölderlin’s work sets out translating at the very limit where/when a collapse into indifference is about. its radical realisation in and as tragic transport. is the dangerous and hazardous wandering [(ver)wandeln] of a double inﬁdelity.. and translation begins by turning away. ﬁgure and beat.” The translations are published together with “Notes.”86 Translation is a celebration of a madness and its suspension.MLN
“its” difference. It is. It is the translation of an almost intolerable passion for the other. “The Caesura of the Speculative” (1979). For the time being. any “original” or “origin” which seems already given. or rather. Philosophy. Politics (Cambridge. p. even its programme: every-thing begins by translation.
1 Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe. 2 Hölderlin translated two Sophoclean tragedies.
Hölderlin does not use such a term in the “Anmerkungen.” It is tiresome “for good reason. and not only here. If not otherwise stated.” in fact. In my writing on Hölderlin.” whereby “the translation of Oedipus the King precedes that of Antigone.” Listening to contra-diction (Wider-spruch. 1983).P.” in Heidegger. Hölderlin. pp. E. Vol. 1952). Th.P. For a complete translation cf. “The Caesura of the Speculative. yet certainly not merely. ed. M. what Hölderlin calls “inﬁdelity. which is.” hides itself in a (formal and philosophical) concept. The most modern tragedy thus comes before the most ancient. pp. Essays and Letters on Theory. and ed. and I ask your. Instead of using the concept and the word “Wider-spruch. at every moment. over and over again. 1804). 1993). is one of my most patient readers. by Thomas Pfau (New York: State University of New York Press. 205. I would like to take this occasion to point out and even “exercise. transl. The term carries.” p. call for caution around its appearance and working. in advance. or at times. who.
.” and in particular the “Notes on the Oedipus” of which this text attempts a reading. labours to abandon.” since it has abandoned. Maurice Blanchot “Hölderlin’s Itinerary” in The Space of Literature (1955). ﬁrst publication of Hölderlin’s translation of the Sophoclean tragedies: (Frankfurt a. “sublimation of contradiction” would already be a quote from the “Anmerkungen” where Hölderlin writes of “speech against speech. 1982). the term becomes the moment where. you will ﬁnd—and lose—yourself going back and forth. das Wider-sprüchliche) would mean to hear connotations of counter-speech. thanks to John Lavery for providing me with a copy. “The Scene Is Primal. and where. Art and Politics (Oxford: Blackwell. This choice of words works. attention to this procedure. where you might not. a drawing out of a concept to an already dramatic. F. counter-speaking (Gegen-rede).. I italicise the term contradiction to ask for time and listening from my reader for this process and attempt of reading Hölderlin’s “translation of tragedy. 220. he writes “it.” as if in advance. my reader’s. Cf.: Wilmans. 41 (transl. S. and fails to carry. agonia. certainly. 1990).” I would like to draw your. I use the translations given in Lacoue-Labarthe’s “The Caesura.” speech against speech one sublimating the other.1076
“Anmerkungen. names the struggle onto death) in-between mechanisms of (poetic) formal beholding and mechanisms of (philosophical) insight. My reading suggests to follow the winding path of listening. Hölderlin Sämtliche Werke (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer. Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe. the reader’s. die sich gegenseitig aufhebt. The Kohlhammer gives the spelling of the ﬁrst edition. know where you are. pp.” Hölderlin writes “Rede gegen Rede. Trezise (Minneapolis and London: Minnesota U.. 195. (This—all too long—footnote is dedicated to Mark Ryder. Chris Turner) and add the German text in the footnotes. p. a tension. Shaffer (Cambridge. (Lincoln and London: Nebraska U. already tragic set of movements and script of a plot. 5. one cancelling the other. the attention of a reading and writing “with the ear” that is indispensable when approaching Hölderlin’s work. Further texts consulted: Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe. a ﬁght. inevitably. even an agony (ég≈n. 213.” however. perhaps tiresome obedience to the winding path “of the ear.” in The Subject of Philosophy (1979).” Ibid. “On tragedy: ‘Notes on the Oedipus’ and ‘Notes on the Antigone. Lacoue-Labarthe’s remarks on the “‘editorial” arrangement (one apparently chosen by Hölderlin). the typical “overview” with which we have accepted to approach everything.) I mark the term “(re)cognition” and.’” in Comparative Criticism 5. it operates a shift. tints of a shift. patience for my. I also consulted the translation by Jeremy Adler. a choice of words or style. at times. 1988). ed. References to this translation will appear henceforth in the footnotes as Pfau.” It is these “Notes. I have here adapted the German rendering in the footnotes according to contemporary orthography.
eﬁw noËn. “that he (Aristotle) was the writer of physis (nature).MLN
7 With an inserted quotation in Greek. with Hölderlin.” a Byzantian encyclopædia dating from the 10th century and attributed to “Suidas of Athens” (the following two editions are available at the Warburg Institute London: Suidae Lexicon. Hölderlin also gives testimony to his interest in writing “itself. to Sophocles. where the net of references listed in these lines traces itself frequently and in various constellations.
. apart from being grammatically incorrect (eﬁw here stands with the accusative.” writes “itself ”? 8 Hölderlin Sämtliche Werke. pen/reed.).” The following “von ihm” (Hamburger translates “with him”). one should not make use of “the god” without a capital. transl. i.. 170/ and. it is a radical generalisation of distancing which takes hold. 5. not with the dative. 1993) reproduces a generalisation of monotheistic belief as grammatical regulation: under b) god without capital G. unbekannt. thus to the classical tradition of poetics. Ada Adler (ed). to rain)? The widespread translation of “dipping the quill into meaning” obscures this imagery. Immanuelin Bekkeri (ed. In Hölderlin. pars I. . p. 358). . p. A. und grenzenlos die Naturmacht und des Menschen Innerstes im Zorn eins wird. 10 Hölderlin Poems and Fragments.” The Greek sentence is a citation from Suidas.” Collins dictionary (2nd ed. who. the means of distancing has shifted into the interrogative “what. “the God” is a trace of an unknown: “Was ist Gott. “Die Darstellung des Tragischen beruht vorzüglich darauf. I am tempted to say). M. Stuttgart and Dresden: Klett. remarked on the gap between the English monstrous and the German “das Ungeheure. 1854.” (emphasis added) 9 The paragraph is dedicated to Rainer Nägele.G. when writing explicitly turns toward “itself. from a “false God. in the case of a monotheistic perspective. can be translated as. thus indicating a direction).” I should also note at this occasion that the present article is part of the fourth and last chapter of my PhD dissertation on the monumental. p. wie der Gott und Mensch sich paart. or rather “Suidas. vol. hovers strangely. I wonder whether there is not a delicate sense of irony to be traced in Hölderlin’s writing here—an irony set into play by means of an emphasis on an all too common emphasis on language’s meaningful transport— surfacing at the precise moment. has become eÎnoun “well-meaning. . very rightly. at least as far as the tragic is concerned: a shift from a direction toward “spirit” to a rather banal. and I anticipate here a claim I shall repeat a little later. a parenthetic “(non-christian)” begins the list of examples—as if Christianity were the only monotheism. In the fragment just quoted. 11 Monotheistic religions speak with a typical certainty of “God” and even often of “my God. Teubnersi. I wonder.” which would hardly leave any space for/of the “unknown. 201. daß das Ungeheure. in this context. It is by no means surprising that. The cited entry concerns Aristotle and. without head. somewhat aimless “goodintention” (eÎ-noun)? And. by extension. daß das grenzenlose Eineswerden durch grenzenloses Scheiden sich reiniget. wetting [in German I would say: benetzen] the pen (reed) for/in the direction of spirit/meaning. Lipsiae in aedibus B.” Is it that Hölderlin hints here at a shift in the destination (eﬁw) of writing. the question of translation arises in the vicinity of the question of monotheism.” rather than the straight personiﬁcation of a “who. in translation.” A use of the article “the God” is likely to denote a distancing. 1928. apart from its apparent reference to Aristotle and.” Yet in Hölderlin’s quotation the latter.” (and I wonder whether. what hints can be drawn from a certain multiplication of natural and even sexual imagery: the writer of physis. to wet the pen/to water the reed (épobr°xvn means to make something wet so that it can grow. 1998). 540–541.e. lacking relation. Hamburger (London: Anvil Press Poetry 1994). Berolini. dadurch sich begreift. entitled “The Last Monument” (London: Goldsmiths College. in full. pp.
typically suggesting itself in a space of thought dominated by the model of the imprint and its speculations. being the more generic term. Hölderlin’s emphasis of the word is missed in Pfau’s translation. “Es wird gut sein. Even if I agree (somewhat “with and against” Lacoue-Labarthe) that it is the effect of a “return” to Aristotle which is working in Hölderlin’s writing. 201. p.” p. And in German. in “The Scene Is Primal” p. p. 28 Ibid. 27 Ibid. pp. 107. contemporary with the “Anmerkungen”: “We have almost lost our speech in a foreign land. 101.e. the gap of an elimination. by S. p. H. “Hölderlin’s Itinerary. also runs right through Freud’s work. “Anmerkungen zur Antigone. transl.” which becomes drawn into question. in translation. 15 Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe. 19 Ibid. Pfau. 17 Ibid. 18 Ibid. “Anmerkungen zur Antigone. wenn man die Poesie. so I suggest. Pfau. employing other means (mhxanÆ). Hölderlin writes. what could be called a question of t°xnh (such as Heidegger in particular considers it) turns into the question of a mhxanÆ. p. one could even hear the cut in Lacoue-Labarthe’s remark: philosophical obedience would be. 29 Ibid. 232. parenthesis added in order to take note of the reﬂexive structure: sich aufheben/to cancel out itself. p. one may of course recall Aristotle’s Poetics: the purging of fear and pity. 13 Here. Pfau. with Hölderlin. auch bei uns. 107. to grasp that the cut. 16 Ibid. 20 Hölderlin Sämtliche Werke. Butcher (New York: Dover Publications. however. 113. again. Cf. 114. Aristotle’s Theory of Poetry and Fine Art (1894). The cut however does not simply run between Freud and Hölderlin. 22 Hölderlin Sämtliche Werke . p. “The Caesura of the Speculative. Pfau. 233. Pfau. 271. p. eine bürgerliche Existenz zu sichern.” a philosophical attention by listening. 232. 26 Ibid.” p. p. precisely catharsis as “the proper tragic effect. p. 195. works to resist the model of the imprint—or certainly its “specularisation” (to use the term Lacoue-Labarthe suggests as an inscription of the visual bias of speculation). “Anmerkungen zum Ödipus. Pfau. Pfau. after his trip to the south of France. it is. 197. 103 (emphasis added). the “proper” tragic effect. The former. p. The Greek term mhxanÆ also denotes the theatre machine and the siege machine. While. 201. 24 Hölderlin Sämtliche Werke. 114. a kind of transport which. another transport promises itself. den Unterschied der Zeiten und Verfassungen abgerechnet. auch bei uns. p. 201. p. 1951).” p. catharsis.” p.” p. 196.” 21 The reader may note here. 202.” Blanchot. 270. sublimate itself. dislocated and even re-deﬁned with Hölderlin’s work. 23 Lacoue-Labarthe remarks on the elimination of musical catharsis from the Freudian discourse as Freud’s “philosophical obedience” (i. 107. um den Dichtern.1078
12 In a letter to a friend. One might only consider the importance of a witnessing as a listener for the Freudian or psychoanalytic practice. 108.
. 14 Hölderlin Sämtliche Werke. pp. and ed. that in reading Hölderlin. to the Aristotlean and Platonic elimination). Pfau. p. 102. 25 Ibid. “philosophisches Ge-horchen. p. zur mhxanÆ der Alten erhebt. 269.
1973). of the chorus as a structural whole in the tragic drama by means of the plural construction “in den Chören des Ödipus. p. a touch of/by madness. Pfau.” Socrates says: “But if man comes to the door of poetry untouched by the madness of the Muses.” (“The strictly mediate is the law. it is possible to denote the part. as it seems. provokes prophylactic manoeuvre. d. 40 Hölderlin Sämtliche Werke. the character. lie in a certain “self”-irony. In German.” As Lacoue-Labarthe has indicated in “The Caesura of the Speculative” as well as in his other writings. 201. “Anmerkungen zum Ödipus” p.” 36 Cf. the inanimate. das. 114). rather like. als ausgesprochen. see also quotations below. pp. unter Menschen. The problematic of the visual with regard to Hölderlin’s understanding of the tragic surfaces again in/as translation: Thomas Pfau translates “in den Chören des Ödipus” as “in the chorus scenes. nonetheless. but are utterly eclipsed by the performances of the inspired madman. bei jedem Dinge. And is not Plato’s “touch of the Muses” also otherwise known as the selfdetachment of “ecstasis” or “enthusiasm?” De-tachment bears witness to a threat of the inhuman. (Pfau. which. pp. 202.” a translation necessitated by the absence of a plural form of “chorus” in English. mehr Zusammenhang. as if with madness.MLN
30 Ibid. 33 An ironical twist may also. vor allem darauf zu sehen. asks to be challenged. who is somewhat touched by detachment.”) Hölderlin Poems and Fragments. he and his sane composition never reach perfection. Aristotle’s Theory of Poetry and Fine Art. 638. but not identical with the detachment which comes with suffering. schicksalsweise. Such a limitation of a poetic work—a limitation in advance of everything. to the extent that Hölderlin could perhaps not help but agree with his critics about the “eccentric” character of the “Anmerkungen. 32 Cf. the role.” 31 Ibid. “Vorzüglich aber bestehet die tragische Darstellung in dem faktischen Worte.” 34 Hölderlin Sämtliche Werke op. to (a personiﬁed) memory. 639. 202.” The insistence on touch. rather often (also) paralysing: the detachment which necessarily comes with the activity of the work and “its” unworking.” p. p. or even. One reason for the overreaction experienced being the reduction of irony to ironic tone . 107. which is identiﬁed with a certain attachment to the Muses.h. “Man hat. “Double inﬁdelity” announces itself in part three of the “Anmerkungen zum Ödipus. daß die Art wie es bedingt ist. that is by no means always or simply productive.” See quotation below. reference to Hölderlin’s Pindar translations: “Die strenge Mittelbarkeit aber ist das Gestz. bestimmt und gelehrt werden kann” (emphasis added). as something which cannot possibly be excluded from the “properly” human. daß es in dem Mittel (moyen) seiner Erscheinung erkennbar ist. p. It is the very appearance of the failure of exclusion (the failure of an economy) which threatens. p. another. the mirroring effects of mimetic rivalry cannot be excluded from the work “itself. strikes the one. (emphasis added) 39 Ibid. Phaedrus and Letters VII and VIII. Plato. Middx: Penguin. transl. 68. also below. p. 38 Here is “the other side” of the argument. at least in part. as in above citation. 35 I frequently experienced something of an outcry when mentioning “Hölderlin” and “irony” in one sentence. and. believing that technique alone will make him a good poet. 69 (XVIII 1456a 25–30). In the second speech of the “Phaedrus. vom Anfang bis zum Ende
. W. 37 Hölderlin Sämtliche Werke p. comes as the anticipating rebuttal of a de-tachment. 245. the reduction of “Hölderlin’s work” to “Hölderlin’s lyric. a madness. “Anmerkungen zur Antigone. 270. daß es Etwas ist. Hamilton (Harmondsworth. 195.
sauber. in: Nietzsche Werke. “Anmerkungen zum Ödipus” p. 270. According to the Gemoll (Griechisch-Deutsches Schul. Freud’s “Ödipus” might then be read as another modern rewriting of these ob-literations.” While Hölderlin’s excessively philosophical approach escapes and betrays (as always. 112. Hölderlin Sämtliche Werke p. Die Geburt der Tragödie (1872). expresses its advent. Wien: G.” leading to a movement of radical generalisation. having perhaps never yet been present. 197. transl. 131–136. A reading of Hölderlin’s and Nietzsche’s reworking of the tragic could begin from here: Nietzsche’s writing. the experience of a ﬁguration. since ﬁgure and narrative bear both. p. a becoming loose. Hölderlin writes a return to the tragic.und Handwörterbuch [München. Ibid. Nietzsche in his “The Birth of Tragedy. und der Gott in der Gestalt des Todes gegenwärtig ist” (emphasis added).” pp. pp. the Greek poet had been forced to make by virtue of his time and place in history” (cf. quotations from chapter 22.. Thus. 638. which is a return to the foreignness of “its” origin as “its” future. The Birth of Tragedy. unmixed. Perhaps. Freytag Verlag. more immediate word. perhaps. in more than one sense) philosophy “proper. 221. perhaps nothing will arrive. J.] back to the realities” and comes to recite and afﬁrm the famous Goethe question as to whether “the highest pathos was but a form of aesthetic play. Cf. 222.” Hölderlin Sämtliche Werke “Anmerkungen zur Antigone” p. Adler. . Nothing has arrived yet. 112. 268. Hölderlin differentiates between a more Greek. 113) “. Hölderlin’s “disorganisation of tragedy” can be seen (and “heard”) as a re-deﬁnition—a re(dis)organisation—of tragedy in terms of a puriﬁcation which will have inscribed itself in terms of an un-doing. As J.” calls for a return “through the tragic mythos [. dem Mittelpunkt seines inneren Lebens in eine andere Welt entrückt und in die exzentrische Sphäre der Toten reißt. approaching the tragic in terms of an aesthetic (“together with tragedy the aesthetic spectator has been reborn”). 269 (Pfau p. F. 1954]) kayarÒw can be rendered as unvermischt.” The “story of Oedipus” might be understood as always and already an obliteration of “itself”—a necessary obliteration.. issues of mimesis involved) in Hölderlin’s writings on tragedy which he develops in “The Caesura of the Speculative. 639). murderously factual [tötend-faktisches]. Ibid. 1956). more mediate [mittelbarer].1080
42 43 44 45
gehet” and: p. Adler mentions in his notes on Hölderlin’s “Notes. he believed. The problematic dialectic of the Apollonian and the Dionysian is more a philosophical than an artistic question. always both. lose. 285. loose. pp. 114). “The Scene is Primal. saying he hoped to correct the ‘errors’ which. Golfﬁng (New York: Doubleday. 207). Lacoue-Labarthe. deadly factual [tödlichfaktisches]. Nietzsche sets out to trace an origin of tragedy which. (cf. “die tragisch den Menschen seiner Lebenssphäre. .” p. Hölderlin Poems and Fragments. and thus missing the
. yet for the time being a return has left a ﬁgure. and a more Hesperian (Lacoue-Labarthe translates as “more modern”).” Hölderlin “wrote to Wilmans [the publisher of the “Notes”] on 28 September 1803. leans toward philosophy. un-working. (cf. (Pfau p. from here. pure and related to the “old-indian cittrirá-s locker. 136–140. Pfau p. of course. pp. “Anmerkungen zur Antigone” p. I would like to refer the reader to Lacoue-Labarthe’s analysis of a chiasm between the ancient and the modern (and. recognition and forgetting—and Hölderlin’s translation as an attempt to correct the traditional obliteration. A typical movement by which the modern will have always deﬁned itself as looking backwards. now (with Wagner’s music). the beginning of a boundless generalisation of the tragic and the aesthetic.
“In solchem Momente vergißt der Mensch sich und den Gott. in the medium. and perhaps unrealisable. E. an in-sight gives him a certain power and control over nature.” Adler “guardian”). “Er tritt ein in den Gang des Schicksals.” as Lacoue-Labarthe suggests. representation. Rather than the “hyperbologic. he suffers a seeing. One. while in the latter.—In der äußersten Grenze des Leidens bestehet nämlich nichts mehr. “Time and the Other. contest. the paralysis of memory and forgetting bound in relentless reciprocity. hiermit im folgenden schlechterdings nicht dem Anfänglichen gleichen kann” (emphasis added). worin der Transport sich darstellt. p.) I wish to take brief note of a shift in the quality of an “absorption”—an absorption that is bound to sight—which has occurred between Hölderlin’s text and the English translation here: in the former. the boundless dissolution of memory and forgetting in the absolute exigency of the re-turn. 43. freilich heiliger Weise. und Anfang und Ende sich in ihr schlechterdings nicht reimen läßt. I insist on the “hyperbolic. court. ﬁght. und kehret. 196. so zu begegenen. das. Hölderlin’s formulation “in der äußersten Grenze” brings the various forms of ég≈n into play: Versammlung. p. according to Hölderlin.” in: The Levinas Reader. Ibid. die tragisch. auf seinem Summum. p. excess or suspension: in/as “the word. assembly and the place of its gathering and the activity in a gathering. 39. die Zeit. wie ein Verräter sich um. by S. (The Greek ÍperbolÆ can be rendered by the Latin terms transgression and excess. daß alsdann nicht mehr der Wechsel der Vorstellungen. p. dem Mittelpunkt seines innern Lebens in eine andere Welt entrückt und in die exzentrische Sphäre der Toten reißt” (emphasis added). as a seer (Seher). weil er ganz im Moment ist. Nietzsche’s “necessary forgetting. the Nietzsche of the Untimely Meditations. die gegenrhythmische Unterbrechung notwendig. or at least. “Dadurch wird in der rhythmischen Aufeinanderfolge der Vorstellungen. 202. It is also a reading which would provide for the strange encounter with a Hölderlin.” yet always ﬁgured as its profound. watch-man) a force of nature. Teresias actively over-sees (Auf-seher. and.)
. um nämlich dem reißenden Wechsel der Vorstellungen.” What I wish to indicate here is less a “logic” than its transgression. who pointed this out to me. ed. der Mensch. (Levinas writes here of “an absorption” which is enjoyment. Hölderlin Sämtliche Werke. was man im Silbenmaße Zäsur heißt. it also designates a delay or suspense. und beides ist untreu. weil sie in solchem Momente sich kategorisch wendet. Ibid. der Gott weil er nichts als Zeit ist. unrealised.” as poetic form. Ibid. den Menschen seiner Lebenssphäre. war. sondern die Vorstellung selber erscheint” (emphasis added). destination.MLN
most ancient—since the most ancient is perhaps precisely what has never been realised by/as “the ancient. where we might come to encounter the double–faced monster of. p. als Aufseher über die Naturmacht. In solchem Momente vergißt sich der Mensch. weil er in diesem Momente der kategorischen Umkehr folgen muß. in its traditional rhetorical as well as in its moral and its mathematical sense. the middle voice (Íperbãllomai).” which he demands in his Unzeitgemäße Betrachtungen as an antidote of too-much-history and the very possibility of history might receive another reading. more Nietzschean than Nietzsche. das reine Wort. 167. Levinas. 1989). he has insight into the force of nature (Pfau translates “Aufseher” as “custodian. Thanks to Rainer Nägele. according to Nietzsche. als die Bedingungen der Zeit oder des Raums. Hand (Oxford: Blackwell.
wenn es seine Schranke durchrissen hat. and the most unbounded of all. Adler p.” 61 Transl. “France represented for Hölderlin the approach to the ﬁre.” 63 A copy of the ﬁrst edition is available in the British Library London. Adler p. rather than the English ecstasy. “how to depict man’s understanding as wandering below the unthinkable. sich wehren.” (translation altered. als es tragen oder fassen kann. sich verändern [to transform itself]. als unter Undenkbarem wandelnd. 65 Hölderlin Sämtliche Werke (Anmerkungen zum Ödipus) p. sich fassen [to grasp itself]. 70 In German. die doch bleiben kann. 104). 1985):
. 69 Ibid. 236). there is no nominal differentiation between the geometrical and the rhetorical.” p. 202. as a kind of terminus technicus remarking the doubling and the split. zu objektivieren wissen. The reading and writing of dissolution comes as a formalism of a kind. A comparative study of the two Sophoclean tragedies as they are translated by Hölderlin. The analysis could be related to Hölderlin’s own comparative analysis of the rhythmic balance [Gleichgewicht] in the two tragedies he translated. The dissolution I attempt to trace in Hölderlin’s writing and translating of tragedy also and inescapably enters my writing. sich formalisieren [to formalise itself].” in “Hölderlin’s Itinerary” p. 110) 67 I prefer to use the Greek ecstasis. J. 59 Ibid. Or the position of the “embracing” form: doubled and closed in itself (in “Antigone”) and. sich wehren [to defend itself].” 66 Ibid.e .1082
58 Hölderlin Sämtliche Werke (Anmerkungen zum Ödipus) p. The rhythm can be noted as: a . p. the opening onto ancient Greek.d. 266.f . yet comparable rhythm of reﬂexive verbs can be traced.(-)c / d . wie trunken in seiner herrlich harmonischen Form.a . 198 (Pfau p. both are rendered as “Hyperbel. . The list of verbs is (they are again ten verbs): sich fassen [to grasp itself]. Pfau translates. “[W]eil das Wissen.e . mehr zu wissen. at the end (in “Ödipus”). p. as he formulates it in the ﬁrst part of the “Antigone”: “the calculable law of “Antigone” compares to that of “Oedipus” like / to \ . Heidegger. sich bilden. p. sich (nicht) mitteilen [(not) to communicate itself]/ sich bilden [to form itself].b . (Anmerkungen zur Antigone) p. 251). Adler. for example. (transl. . an additional reﬂexive gerund “sich scheidend ” (separating itself) which interferes.” 62 Cf. 196. 15th ed. all-embracing with added variation and negation (in “Ödipus”). Art and Politics. sich selbst reizt. . Lacoue-Labarthe. rather than as dissolution. sich darstellen [to represent itself]. It is not as clear as in the “Ödipus”: there is. 68 The insistence in and the proliferation of the conjunctive clause and/“and ”/(and) highlights the track of a dissolution. Here is the beginning of its geometrical deﬁnition according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica (Vol. 60 In the third part of the “Anmerkungen zur Antigone” another. etc. a study organised by the two rhythmic schemata as sketched in the “Anmerkungen” suggests itself: one could for instance begin by questioning the position of the up-side-down or inverted relation of the “cross” form in both schemata: at the beginning (in “Antigone”) and. 251: “The tragical transport is essentially empty.” The English differentiates hyperbola (geometry) from hyperbole (rhetoric). 6. vorerst. 64 Blanchot notes. (transl. “[D]es Menschen Verstand. 41: “the tragic transport [in French in the original]. (im)mobilisation and paralysis of ecstasy.f . 271.
This list of quotations is from the entire “Anmerkungen zum Ödipus” pp. transl.” becoming one in fury.C. D. es wird nur in eine priesterlichärztliche Zucht genommen und wird als ein belebender Trieb dem Gottesdienste beigefügt.. Hölderlin Sämtliche Werke : in both “Anmerkungen”. His description of musical catharsis: “vorübergehender Wahnsinn [. see quotations above. it may form a reminder that. translation according to Adler pp...” And in the footnotes he adds: “Und aus diesem priesterlich
. drive to procreate. p. where he describes procedures of a celebratory and musical discharge (Tübingen: Verlag von J. Here is a taste of the Dionysian from Erwin Rohde’s book Psyche. 195.] religiös gefärbte Wahnsinnsform [. Solchem enthusiastischen Drange zur Entladung und damit zur Heilung und Reinigung dienten die mit Tanz und Musik [.” which appears ﬁve times in the “Notes. 265. 9: “Die Feier ging auf Berghöhen vor sich in dunkler Nacht...” It may be added that turning is involved in order to produce a cone (“turning of a line around one of its points”). by revolving a hyperbola. more elaborately: p. sweat-eater) 1) goat. and the other desires and feelings of pleasure and pain which accompany all our actions. the appropriating gesture of memory. as it becomes most plausible with the phrase “im Zorn Eins werden. or. According to Rohde’s translation. 196 in the “Ödipus”. Lärmende Musik erscholl. of QLD Australia) made to me in conversation: the German “Zorn.” and which has become a little antiquated in contemporary spoken German (and one might wonder why).” and p. 3) wild Fig-tree.” For now.” nibbler. It is a certain musical destination whose interference I attempt to trace in my writing. 2) Zeugungsdrang. Seelenkult und Unsterblichkeitsglaube der Griechen (1893). 437 (Republic 10.] In wütendem. 251. Middx: Penguin Classics. a holding on to with strong connotations of re-membering. 266 in the “Antigone. Benjamin’s “das Musikalische ” still waiting in the wings.]..” it is forms of musical catharsis which were transported into tragedy [auf die Tragödie übertragen].. according to the Gemoll’ : (from tr≈gv. could.]. Bd.. Lee (Harmondsworth. wirbelnden Rundtanz eilt die Schar der Begeisterten über die Berghalden dahin. 1987). be thought in translation as the Greek ÙrgÆ. so Elsaghe. Cf.] begangenen Weihefeste [. II. Meist waren es Weiber die bis zur Erschöpfung in diesen Wirbeltänzen sich umschwangen. Hölderlin Sämtliche Werke (Anmerkungen zum Ödipus) p. beim unsteten Schein der Fackelbrände. der schmetternde Schall eherner Becken. 202. rather than the particularlity of a music.. der dumpfe Donner großer Handpauken und dazwischen hinein ‘der zum Wahnsinn lockende Einklang’ der tieftönenden Flöten [. a conic section. also Plato. in heftigste Aufregung geriet und von ungeheurer Tanzwut ergriffen wurde.. it is “music ” which is at stake. “the musical. zornig. Das Ekstatische soll in diesem Verfahren nicht unterdrückt und ausgerottet werden. seltsam verkleidet [.” In its very strangeness. rather than “the Dionysian. p. I would like to take note here of a suggestion which Yahya Elsaghe (Univ. produced by the intersection of a circular cone and a plane that cut both nappes of the cone.. trage›n “Nascher. Flötentöne hörte.] in der ohne äußeren Anlaß der Leidende Gestalten seltsamer Art sah. The Republic.Mohr. I shall continue to use this odd term.B.MLN
“two-branched open curve. “Behalten” may denote various forms of appropriation.” Perhaps one could only speak of a “heritage” to the extent that heritage could be understood according to the law of “divine inﬁdelity” and forgetting which Hölderlin cites. 606d) where he speaks of representations of “sex and anger. 1925).. to produce a hyperboloid. The Greek trãgow means.
Lacoue-Labarthe.M. Selbstverbannung. and basing his work on his clerico-musical experiments and practices. p. as recently claimed. 10. Sigmund Freud. 23. cf. Maurice Blanchot.1084
78 79 80 81 82 83
84 85 86
musikalischen.. p. 189: “Aristotle.” E. “Translating.” “Schuld um den Zweifel zu ersticken. p. the exposure of a split at that limit which represents suffering. II. p. Ibid. Cf. Cf. Poetics vi 2. nicht aus den eigentlich medizinischen Erfahrungen und Praktiken hat Aristotle. pp. 61.” p. der Anregung des Plato. 1997).” so that there be “something” separated from “the All. Rottenberg (Stanford California: Stanford U. known as the Kabbala. 240 in the same volume. “Translating. 47– 49. an exiling of (one)self. Bd. 1992). applied to tragedy the idea of a katharsis ton pathematon produced by a vehement discharge—not. die Vorstellung von der durch vehemente Entladung—und nicht wie neuerdings wieder erklärt wird. 25. Aristotle. Zur Kabbala und ihrer Symbolik (Darmstadt. One of the most challenging sentences of the “Moses” is when Freud speaks about guilt as “suffocating doubt. p. Cf. Rohde. Der Mann Moses und die monotheistische Religion (1939) (Frankfurt a. Rep. 59. p. “The Scene is Primal.” The destination of “a being” is therefore thought in terms of giving up being “something. transl.P. and not on properly medical experiments and practices.” in Friendship (1971). 1965). Gershom Scholem. 148. following Plato (Republic X 606). Lacoue-Labarthe quotes the latter (the footnote) in his “The Echo of the Subject” in Typography p. 606 folgend. vermittels Beruhigung der Affekte durch einen ‘versöhnenden Schluß’—bewirkten kãyarsiw t«n payhmãtvn auf die Tragödie übertragen. According to the Kabbala. Hölderlin Sämtliche Werke. the beginning is a withdrawal of “the One. 201 (emphasis added). of boundless uncertainty as it comes with the contradiction of (re)presentation.” Nietzsche Werke.’” Maurice Blanchot. Cf. Hölderlin passes here very close to a certain mystic translation of monotheism. also pp. p.” Gershom Scholem considers this mystic withdrawal as a kind of exiling. 138.: Fischer. 136.” The binding of catharsis into sacriﬁcial structures is such a suffocation of doubt. E. and sets it in relation to the catastrophe of the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492. by the calming of the passions through a ‘reconciling ending.