Nov 202010

Adam Kirsch. “The radical strangeness of Being.” TLS review 2004.03.05

“Simic finds in Heidegger the inspiration for a distinctively late-twentieth century poetic, one that understands art in terms of preservation and caretaking, not creation and transformation. Such a stand is a reaction against the heedless assertiveness of artistic and political modernism. The artist who wants to transform perception, in this view, is akin to the dictator who wants to transform reality; both are examples of unleashed will-to-power. To avoid such hubris, the Heideggerian postmodernist dedicates himself to Being, to the intricate contingency of what is: the individual life, the powerfully present object, the fleeting instant.”

“The problem with secular mysticism is that it constantly threatens to become merely praise of the ordinary – or still worse, a bourgeois appreciation of life’s little pleasures.”

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