Martin Heidegger (Routledge Critical Thinkers)
by Timothy Clark
Although Martin Heidegger seems to be most often remembered today for his collaboration with the Nazis, his revolutionary philosophical ideas provide the seeds for the postmodern philosophies of thinkers as diverse as Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, and Hans Georg Gadamer. While most studies of Heidegger focus on the philosophy of Being (Dasein) he espoused in the monumental Being and Time, Clark (The Theory of Inspiration) offers the first study of Heidegger's philosophy of language and literature. Through a close reading of Heidegger's famous lecture, "The Origin of the Work of Art," and his "elucidations" on the German Romantic poet Helderlin, Clark demonstrates that poetry resists the domination and control of traditional metaphysics, opening up its own space for knowing the world and being in it. Clark nimbly explains Heidegger's difficult philosophical concepts with a series of boxed illustrations and chapter summaries. In spite of Clark's efforts, though, his book requires some previous acquaintance with Heidegger, postmodernity, literary criticism, and philosophy. Since the book is narrowly focused, only academic libraries and public libraries that serve a large college population should purchase it. For public libraries, Rediger Safranski's Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil (LJ 3/15/98) remains the standard study. Henry L. Carrigan Jr., Lancaster, PA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Heidegger was a uniquely gifted practitioner of the difficult art of reading. But his achievements have been overlooked or neglected or drastically misunderstood by mainstream literary theorists and critics. Timothy Clark's accessible, neat and reliable introduction goes a long way towards setting the record straight.
–Jonathan Ree, Middlesex University
Timothy Clark's Martin Heidegger is an intelligent, highly accessible introduction to the German philosopher's complex intellectual trajectory. In its focus on Heidegger's engagement with art and language, Clark's book will be of particular interest to students of aesthetics, literature, and theory.
–Michael Eskin, Columbia University
The influence of Heidegger's on current thought has been pervasive. In reaction to Enlightenment ideas, he presents a view of the modern world as destructive of nature, community, tradition, individuality, and more. His writings have influenced such central social and literary thinkers as Derrida and Foucault.
This volume is the first thorough introduction to his work on language and literature. Heidegger's reputation for being difficult has scared off many who would have otherwise profited from a knowledge of his work. This guide is written with these people in mind. It is "student-friendly" and presents Heidegger's ideas in a clear and comprehensible manner. Understanding Heidegger is essential for anyone who wants to understand current literary theory, and this guide is essential for anyone seeking to understand Heidegger.
About the Author
Timothy Clark teaches in the English department of the University of Durham.