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Reading Heidegger's Black Notebooks 1931-1941$
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Ingo Farin and Jeff Malpas

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034012

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034012.001.0001

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Heidegger’s Black Night: The Nachlass and Its Wirkungsgeschichte

Heidegger’s Black Night: The Nachlass and Its Wirkungsgeschichte

(p.59) 5 Heidegger’s Black Night: The Nachlass and Its Wirkungsgeschichte
Reading Heidegger's Black Notebooks 1931-1941

Babette Babich

The MIT Press

The publication of the Black Notebooks presents proof positive of Heidegger’s anti-Semitism. It is argued that the historical context in which Heidegger writes of Weltjudentum, as well as his thematic reflections on Jewish calculation in the context of race, risk, and life must be considered. In addition to the challenges of reviewing the increasingly digital conditions of philosophical reception today, conducted via email (the Heidegger Circle) and on Facebook, etc., this essay foregrounds what may be called ‘zombie writings,’ i.e., books first published after the death of the author. Indeed, Heidegger himself initiates this concern in Reflections XIV, highlighting the backward-working effects of posthumously published philosophical but also poetic texts on an author’s life work, notably naming Hegel, Hölderlin, and Nietzsche as exemplars. Heidegger’s absorption with his own reception (especially Being and Time) and his harsh judgment of his readers is also considered. In addition to a reflection on need and destitution, as well as the accelerationist worldview Heidegger names for its ‘Americanism,’ the Black Notebooks yield insights into Heidegger’s philosophy of technology, especially his critical theoretical insights into radio and film and print media. Beyond moraline condemnation, this essay concludes by calling for a Heidegger-specific “philology.”

Keywords:   digital philosophy, posthumous hermeneutics, radio technology, planetary idiotism, Heidegger philology

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