Hölderlin's Hymns "Germania" and "The Rhine"

Hölderlin's Hymns "Germania" and "The Rhine"

Martin Heidegger, edited by Martin Heidegger, translated by William McNeill and Julia Anne Ireland
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 09/16/2014
Format: Hardback 1 b&w illus
ISBN: 978-0-253-01421-4
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Martin Heidegger’s 1934–1935 lectures on Friedrich Hölderlin’s hymns "Germania" and "The Rhine" are considered the most significant among Heidegger’s lectures on Hölderlin. Coming at a crucial time in his career, the text illustrates Heidegger’s turn toward language, art, and poetry while reflecting his despair at his failure to revolutionize the German university and his hope for a more profound revolution through the German language, guided by Hölderlin’s poetry. These lectures are important for understanding Heidegger’s changing relation to politics, his turn toward Nietzsche, his thinking about the German language, and his breakthrough to a new kind of poetic thinking. First published in 1980 as volume 39 of Heidegger’s Complete Works, this graceful and rigorous English-language translation will be widely discussed in continental philosophy and literary theory.

Author Bio

William McNeill is Professor of Philosophy at DePaul University.

Julia A. Ireland is an Assistant Professor at Whitman College. She has translated (with William McNeill) Hölderlin's Hymn "The Ister" (IUP, 1996).


“The translators have clearly mastered Heidegger's own way of reading and interpreting these Hölderlin texts. They convey an intimate knowledge of Heidegger's German and its deepest meanings without sacrificing the idiosyncratic character of Heidegger's prose style. What emerges is an English-language Heidegger for our times.”
 — Charles Bambach, University of Texas - Dallas

“The translation of Heidegger's first public engagement with Hölderlin represents a significant event in Heidegger studies. These lectures are also extremely important for assessing Heidegger's political commitments during the period, the crucial years of his involvement with National Socialism and the Nazi party, and his understanding of the poet's role in bringing to articulation what he understands as the destiny of a people.”
 — Christopher Fynsk, University of Aberdeen

“[This translation], including a clear and concise introduction and useful glossaries, attains both accuracy and clarity, rarely faltering in its choice of words.”
 — Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

“Translated with skill and precision, these lectures . . . not only present the most penetrating analysis of two of Hölderlin's most significant hymns but also constitute Heidegger's most illuminating and fully argued encounter with Hölderlin. . . . Recommended.”
 — Choice

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Table of Contents

Translators’ Foreword
Preliminary Remark
§ 1. Outline of the Beginning, Manner of Procedure, and Approach of the Lecture Course

Part One
Chapter One
Preliminary Reflections: Poetry and Language
§ 2. Provisional Path of Approach to the Poem as a Piece of Text
§ 3. Entering the Domain in which Poetry Unfolds its Power
§ 4. Concerning the Essence of Poetry
§ 5. The Question Concerning the ‘We’ in the Turbulence of the Dialogue
§ 6. Determining the ‘We’ from out of the Horizon of the Question of Time
§ 7. The Linguistic Character of Poetry

Chapter Two
The Fundamental Attunement of Poetizing and the Historicality of Dasein
§ 8. Unfolding the Fundamental Attunement
§ 9. Historical Time and Fundamental Attunement
§ 10. The Locale of Dasein Founded in "Germania" within the Horizon of the Heraclitean Thought
§11. Transitional Overview and Summary: Revisiting the Domains Opened Up Thus Far as a Way of Determining More Precisely the Intent of the Lecture Course

Part Two
"The Rhine"
Transitional Remark
The Question Concerning What is ‘Innermost’ in a Poetic Work as a Question of the Opening Up and Founding of Beyng in the Each Time New Prevailing of its Fundamental Attunement
Chapter One
The Demigods as Mediating Middle between Gods and Humans. The Fundamental Attunement of the Poem. The Beyng of the Demigods and the Calling of the Poet
§12. Thinking the Essence of the Demigods in the Founding Projection of the Poet
§13. Strophe I. The Point of Departure for the Telling, and the Composure through which it is Experienced. The Apprehending of a Destiny
§14. Strophes II and III. The River Rhine as Destiny. Hearing its Origin and Assuming its Vocation
Chapter Two
A More Incisive Review. Poetizing and Historical Dasein
§15. The Task of the Lecture Course: Entering the Domain in Which Poetry Unfolds its Power, and the Opening Up of its Actuality
§16. Th

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