Hölderlin's Hymn "Remembrance"

Hölderlin's Hymn "Remembrance"

Martin Heidegger, translated by William McNeill and Julia Ireland
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 09/28/2018
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-253-03581-3
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Martin Heidegger's 1941–1942 lecture course on Friedrich Hölderlin's hymn, "Remembrance," delivered immediately following his confrontation with Nietzsche, lays out a detailed plan for the interpretation of Hölderlin's poetry in which remembrance is a central concern. With its emphasis on the "free use of the national" and the "holy of the fatherland," the course marks an important progression in Heidegger's political thought. In addition to its startlingly innovative analyses of greeting, the festive, and the dream, the text provides Heidegger's fullest elaboration of the structure of commemorative thinking in relationship to time and the possibility of an "other beginning." This English translation by William McNeill and Julia Ireland completes the series of Heidegger's major lecture courses on Hölderlin.

Author Bio

William McNeill is Professor of Philosophy at DePaul University. He is translator (with Jeffrey Powell) of Martin Heidegger's The History of Beyng and (with Julia Ireland) of Hölderlin’s Hymn "The Ister" and Hölderlin's Hymn "Germania" and "The Rhine."

Julia Ireland is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Whitman College. She is translator (with William McNeill) of Martin Heidegger's Hölderlin’s Hymn "The Ister" and Hölderlin's Hymn "Germania" and "The Rhine."


“This faithful and readable translation by William McNeill and Julia Ireland serves as a critical orientation to interpreting Heidegger's later thought, which has become the focus of a great deal of scholarly interest. In Heidegger's own words, Hölderlin's poetry is 'absolutely essential' to understanding his later thought.”
 — Christopher D. Merwin, Emory University

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Table of Contents

Translators’ Foreword


Preparation for Hearing the Word of the Poetizing

§1. What the Lecture Course Does Not Intend. On Literary-Historiographical Research and the Arbitrary Interpretation of Poetry

§2. The Attempt to Think the Word Poetized by Hölderlin

§3. That Which is Poetized in the Word of Essential Poetizing ‘Poetizes Over and Beyond’ the Poet and Those Who Hear this Word

§4. The Essential Singularity of Hölderlin’s Poetizing is Not Subject to Any Demand for Proof

§5. The Poetizing Word and Language as Means of Communication. Planetary Alienation in Relation to the Word


1) ‘Thinking’ That Which is Poetized

2) Hearing That Which is Poetized is Hearkening: Waiting for the Coming of the Inceptual Word

§6. The Univocity of ‘Logic’ and the Wealth of the Genuine Word Out of the Inexhaustibility of the Commencement

§7. Remark on the Editions of Hölderlin’s Works



§8. A Word of Warning about Merely Admiring the Beauty of the Poem

§9. Establishing a Preliminary Understanding About ‘Content’ and What is Poetized in the Poem


1) The Wealth of the Poetizing Word

2) Poetizing and Thinking as Historical Action

3) The Transformation of the Biographical in That Which is Poetized

§10. That Which is Poetized in the Poetizing and the ‘Content’ of the Poem are Not the Same

Part One

Entry into the Realm of the Poem as Word

§11. The Beginning and Conclusion of the Poem

§12. Concerning Language: The Poetizing Word and Sounding Words

§13. Language in Our Historical Moment

§14. Preliminary Consideration of the Unity of the Poem


§15. Poetizing and the Explanation of Nature in Modernity. On the Theory of ‘Image’ and ‘Metaphor’

§16. "The Northeasterly blows." The Favor of Belonging to the Vocation of Poet

§17. The "Greeting." On the Dangerous Addiction to Psychological-Biographical Explanation

§18. Norbert von Hellingrath on "Hölderlin’s Madness." Commemoration of von Hellingrath

§19. Hölderlin’s De-rangement as Entering the Range of a Different Essential Locale

§20. The "Going" of the Northeasterly. The "Greeting" of the Poet’s Going with It


§21. Transition From the First to the Second Strophe. The Greeting Thinking-in-the-Direction-Of as the Letting Be of the Greeted. The Greeted Thinks Its Way To the Poet

§22. In the Unity of That Which is Greeted, Gathered by the Poet’s Greeting, the Day’s Work and Stead of Human Dwelling Arise

Part Two

"Holidays" and "Festival" in Hölderlin’s Poetizing

§23. Preliminary Hints From Citing ‘Passages’ In the Poetry


§24. Celebrating as Pausing From Work and Passing Over into Reflection upon the Essential

§25. The Radiance of the Essential Within Celebration. Play and Dance

§26. The Essential Relation Between Festival and History. The "Bridal Festival" of Humans and Gods

§27. The Festive as Origin of Attunements. Joy and Mournfulness: The Epigram "Sophocles"


1) Celebration as Becoming Free in Belonging to the Inhabitual

2) Improbable Celebration in the Echo of What is ‘Habitual’ in a Day: The First Strophe of the Elegy "Bread and Wine"

3) "The Festival" and the Appropriative Event. The Festival of the Day of History in Greece. Hölderlin and Nietzsche

§28. The Greeting of the Women. Their Role in Preparing the Festival. The Women of Southern France and the Festival that Once Was in Greece


§29. Transition as Reconciliation and Equalization

§30. "Night": Time-Space of a Thinking Remembering the Gods that Once Were Transition in Receiving the Downgoing and Preparing the Dawn

§31. Gods and Humans as Fitting Themselves to What is Fitting. That Which is Fitting and Fate

§32. How Fate is Viewed Within the Calculative Thinking of Metaphysics, and "Fate" in Hölderlin’s Sense

§33. The Festival as Equalizing the While for Fate

§34. The Transition from What Once Was in Greece into That Which is to Come: The Veiled Truth of the Hymnal Poetizing


1) The Provenance of the Poetized Transition. The "Demigods" Called into the Transition. Hegel and Hölderlin

2) What is Fitting for Humans and Gods is the Holy. The Fitting of the Jointure as Letting-be

3) Fitting as Releasing into the Search for Essence and the Loss of Essence. Errancy and Evil

4) The Temporal Character of the "While," and the Metaphysical Concept of Time

§35. "Lulling Breezes…": Sheltering in the Origin, the Ownmost of Humans and Gods. "Golden Dreams…"

§36. Interim Remark Concerning Scientific Explanations of Dreams

§37. The Dream. That Which Is Dreamlike as the Unreal or Nonexistent

§38. Greek Thought on the Dream. Pindar


§39. The Dream as Shadow-like Appearing of Vanishing into the Lightless. Presencing and Absencing

§40. The Possible as Presencing of Vanishing from, and as Appearing of Arrival Within ‘Reality’ (Beyng)

§41. Hölderlin’s Treatise "Becoming in Dissolution." Dream as Bringing the Possible and Preserving the Transfigured Actual

Part Three

The Search for the Free Use of One’s Own

§42. Hesitant Awe Before the Transition onto "Slow Footbridges"


§43. Greece and Germania: The Banks and Sides of the Transition Toward Learning What is Historically One’s Own

§44. One’s Own as the Holy of the Fatherland, Inaccessible to Theologies and Historiographical Sciences. The "Highest"

§45. The Transition From the Second to the Third Strophe. Grounding in the Homely

§46. Interim Remark Concerning Three Misinterpretations of Hölderlin’s Turn to the "Fatherland"

§47. Learning the Appropriation of One’s Own

§48. What is Their Own for the Germans: "The Clarity of Presentation"

§49. The Drunkenness of Higher Reflection and Soberness of Presentation in the Word

§50. "Dark Light": That Which is to be Presented in the Free Use of One’s Own

§51. The Danger of Slumber Among Shadows. "Soulful" Reflection Upon the Holy in the Festival

Part Four

The Dialogue with the Friends as Fitting Preparation for the Festival

§52. "Dialogue" in the Commonplace Understanding and in Hölderlin’s Poetic Word Usage

§53. The "Opinion" of the "Heart" in the Dialogue: The Holy

§54. Listening in the Dialogue to Love and Deed, which, as Celebration, Ground the Festival in Advance

§55. The Endangering of the Poetic Dialogue of Love and Deeds by Chatter

§56. The Poetic Dialogue as "Remembrance"

§57. The Question of Where the Friends Are, and the Essence of Future Friendship

§58. The Friends’ Being Shy to Go to the Source

§59. "Source" and "River." The Wealth of the Origin

§60. The Initial Appropriation of "Wealth" on the Poets’ Voyage Across the Ocean into the Foreign

§61. The "Year Long" Learning of the Foreign on the Ocean Voyage of a Long Time Without Festival

§62. The Singular Remembrance of the Locale of the Friends and of the Fitting that is to be Poetized

§63. The Word Regarding the River that Goes Backwards: The Shy Intimation of the Essence of Commencement and History

§64. The Passage to the Foreign, "Bold Forgetting" of One’s Own, and the Return Home

§65. The Founding of the Coming Holy in the Word


The Interpretive Structure for the Said Poems

Editor’s Epilogue

Translators’ Notes

German—English Glossary

English—German Glossary