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Agamben's Philosophical Lineage$
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Adam Kotsko and Carlo Salzani

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474423632

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474423632.001.0001

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Friedrich Hölderlin

Friedrich Hölderlin

(p.146) 14 Friedrich Hölderlin
Agamben's Philosophical Lineage

Henrik Wilberg

Edinburgh University Press

In the preface to Stanzas, Agamben unambiguously provides the setting for his engagement with Friedrich Hölderlin: The name of Hölderlin – of a poet, that is, for whom poetry was above all problematic and who often hoped that it would be raised to the level of mechane (mechanical instrument) of the ancients so that its procedures could be calculated and taught – and the dialogue that with its utterance engages a thinker who no longer designates his own meditation with the name of ‘philosophy’ are invoked here to witness the urgency, for our culture, of rediscovering the unity of our fragmented word. (S xvii) Hölderlin is invoked as a poet who occupies a singular position among poets, one for whom poetry was ‘above all problematic’ – problematic in the sense that it persists as a discourse of recovery with regard to something that is not itself exclusively ‘poetic’. In this capacity, the peculiar fracture of poetic discourse in Hölderlin is a ‘witness to the urgency’ of what is singled out as the main theme of Stanzas: the scission, in ‘our culture’, between poetry and philosophy with regard to objects of experience. Complementing this problematisation of poetry in Hölderlin, however, is the equally problematic discourse of ‘a thinker who no longer designates his own meditations with the name of “philosophy”’.

Keywords:   Friedrich Hölderlin, Martin Heidegger, Stanzas

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