peasant shoes

Steve Martinot has some interesting things to say. However, I find a
slight problem with his analysis of Origin of the Work of Art. Firstly,
part of what intrigues me about MH's analysis of the peasant shoes is that
the being of the shoes is entirely different for the peasant woman as it is
for Heidegger (and by extension, we who read or hear his lecture). Leaving
aside that all of the historical research points to the shoes having been
Van Gogh's own (i.e., a male city dweller's shoes), the shoes which are
painted and which open up the world of the peasnat woman for us are not at
all the same shoes that she wears. The painted shoes only "work" at
showing a world by being present and being thought about. They are not
present-at-hand by being broken; it is what they are, as a work of art, to
be present-at-hand. It has always struck me that MH's analysis of the
shoes is far more complex than he lets on (as well as rather bizarre). And
it seems to me that Steve's post not only follows Heidegger's subreption of
one pair of shoes for another all too easily, he (Steve) also seems to
willing to subsume TOWA to the categories of B&T. While I think that the
vorhanden-zuhanden distinction is very important to understanding MH's
discussion of the shoes, I don't think it is enough. And I have yet to be
convinced that the world opened up by an artwork is the same as the world
as it is discussed in B&T. Related, yes, identical, no. Simiarly,
equating Dasein with mortals seems to me to be a mistake. But that would
take a lot of work to show here.

Secondly, Steve writes, "human world ("human reality"? ;-), pace Derrida)".
"Human reality" is an English translation of "realite' humaine" which is
the term the original French translation (I can't recall by whom) used to
render Dasein. You can imagine the problems this would cause. Indeed,
Sartre's (humanist) appropriation of MH makes much more sense if you read
"human reality" each time you come across Dasein in B&T.



For we, which now behold these present days,
Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.

Jonathan Maskit
[email protected]


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