Re: Shoes and people

On Wed, 7 Jun 1995, Tom Blancato wrote:

> I think it's important that still, even as he moves into the "poetic",
> in TOWA concerning the shoes, the shoes are understood in terms of work,
> lonliness and work. From the workshop examples, the "hammer" onward,
> Heidegger really fails, I think, to open up the primary space of the
> social world. For me, the shoes would be understood in their
> equipmentality and the paths they walk according to the womans primary
> relationships: who she's going home to, and so forth. There is an
> example of Heidegger's concerning the social constitution of equipment:
> the table and chairs for eating, which is, I think in this example, were
> where the boys had lunch or something like that. He points to it in
> almost a kind of longing, as crucial, yet the phenomenology of the boys
> actually having lunch doesn't seem to appear anywhere. Even the story,
> in the reading of the Holderlin poem, of wandering strangers (alone, of
> course) on darksome paths, has them crossing the threshold (turned to
> stone by pain for Holderlin) to sit at a table on which is laid bread
> and wine. Like the table that was set for the boys, the table setter is
> strangely absent. What is disappearing the people involved? How does
> this disappearance occur?

Yes, it can be said that Heidegger's account of Mitsein includes
everything but friends, family, and coworkers (and enemies even). The
more interesting feature is that our Mitsein is apparently mediated by
things, an aspect I don't think Heidegger ever gave up.

One of the few other concrete examples of Mitsein that he gave comes in
"Why do we stay in the provinces?" where he says that the silent being
together of peasants in a smoky tavern is more authentic than the loudest
chatter of an urban cafe. I've always found that example interesting.

By way of correction, the poem you have in mind is by Trakl, not
Holderlin. As far as I remember, the table is set, but the setter does
not appear in the poem. I should check to make sure.

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