Ellipsis: Of Poetry and the Experience of Language after Heidegger, Holderlin, and Blanchot

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What is the nature of poetic language when its experience involves an encounter with finitude; with failure, loss, and absence? For Martin Heidegger this experience is central to any thinking that would seek to articulate the meaning of being, but for Friedrich Holderlin and Maurice Blanchot it is a mark of the tragic and unanswerable demands of poetic language. In Ellipsis, a rigorous, original study on the language of poetry, the language of philosophy, and the limits of the word, William S. Allen offers the first in-depth examination of the development of Heidegger's thinking of poetic language-which remains his most radical and yet most misunderstood work-that carefully balances it with the impossible demands of this experience of finitude, an experience of which Holderlin and Blanchot have provided the most searching examinations. In bringing language up against its limits, Allen shows that poetic language not only exposes thinking to its abyssal grounds, but also indicates how the limits of our existence come themselves, traumatically impossibly, to speak.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This is a very serious work of thought that makes a valuable contribution to current discussions about language in the writings of Heidegger and Hölderlin. There are passages that are memorable not only for their insightfulness, but also because in an extremely condensed formulation, a genuinely original intuition is articulated with clarity and precision. It is a virtuoso performance.” — David Michael Kleinberg-Levin, author of Gestures of Ethical Life: Reading Hölderlin’s Question of Measure After Heidegger
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Product Details

Meet the Author

William S. Allen is an independent scholar who received his PhD from the University of Warwick, England.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
Abbreviations     xi
Introduction     1
The Mark of a Poem
Repeat: The Experience of Poetic Language     25
The Turning of Logos     30
Saying the Same     38
The Limit of Writing     44
Again, Anew     52
Hiding: Figures of Cryptophilia in the Work of Art     59
Earth and Phusis     64
Draw-ing and Polemos     71
Poetry and Logos     79
Thesis: Stellen: Peras     85
Beyond: The Limits of the Word in Heidegger and Blanchot     91
The Reading of the Word     98
The Writing of the Word     108
The Position of the Word     115
The Repetition of Language
Suspending: The Translation of Tragedy in Holderlin's Essays     123
The Chiasmic Ground of Empedocles     128
The Caesura of Oedipus     134
The Eccentricity of Antigone     142
The Rhythm of Dysmoron     147
A Void: Writing and the Essence of Language     153
Bearing Out     158
The Pain of Language     162
Into the Space of Renunciation     170
In Palimpsest     182
Fragmenting: L'iter-rature of Relation     189
"Without return"     193
...     205
"Never repeat"     208
(Refrain)     212
Notes     217
Index     235
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