Why I’m not writing or speaking about Heidegger’s Black Notebooks (except here)

Stuart’s points below about why he is not (yet) speaking/writing on the Black Notebooks are helpful for understanding his own development and work. For myself, I hesitate only because I feel that anything I would write on the new stuff would only have the vague sense of ‘antisemitism is bad’ and ‘Heidegger saying that is equally bad’–which is not worth the translational work. Yes, a priori, that means it true I think that his notions of historicity and temporality from the 20s and elsewhere don’t lead to the content of what we had more-than-subtle hints he wrote in private during the 30s, 40s, and probably later. Only the Heideggerian priests held anything else, but it’s been so long since all the stuff from Sartre, Derrida, Lyotard and so many others assuming his antisemitism for anyone to be shocked. Yes there are those—with the Black Notebooks in view, it makes it easier—trying to use his moral debasement to back us into a certain liberalism (Wolin comes to mind), but that’s a false choice. As the writers above have noted, along with Elden at crucial points longs before this.

Progressive Geographies

HeideggerAs many readers of this blog will know, I’ve been posting various bits of news about Heidegger’s ‘Black Notebooks’ over the past year or so. In that time I’ve been asked to speak on Heidegger at events in the UK and USA, and a few people have suggested I write something. I’ve always said ‘no’.

Heidegger has been a crucial thinker to my work. My PhD examined the relation between Nietzsche, Heidegger and Foucault; the book that came from it was Mapping the Present: Heidegger, Foucault and the Project of a Spatial History. The book, as the title suggests, looked principally at Heidegger and Foucault, though much of the Nietzsche material was reworked into other chapters. It took seriously Foucault’s claim that Heidegger was, for him, ‘the essential philosopher’. Both the PhD and book included a chapter that looked at how Heidegger read Nietzsche and Hölderlin during the Nazi…

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