Emmanuel Faye e Hannah Arendt. Heidegger come Platone? Si può ridere del “re filosofo”?

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Hannah Arendt, in una intervista rilasciata poco dopo l’ uscita del suo  libro su Adolf  Eichmann a proposito di quest’ultimo usa il termine “Hanswurst” (Giovanni-salamino) che nei sottotitoli è stato tradotto con “fool” che io a mia volta ho tradotto con “pazzo”, perchè giullare non mi suonava in quel contesto e  non riuscivo ad individuare la parola tedesca pronunciata nel video.

[minuto 49.27]

Il termine tedesco usato nel passaggio in questione,  per quanto mi consta vuol dire più esattamente “buffone”: persona che suscita l’ilarità. Nel dizionario Italiano tedesco Hanswurst viene tradotto anche come Arlecchino

<<Come figura popolare contadina l’Hanswurst viene introdotta in pezzi del teatro di fiera e itinerante. Il nome compare per la prima volta in una versione in mediobasso tedesco  della “La nave dei folli” di Sebastian Brandt  /1519) (mentre nella versione originale veniva utilizzato il nome Hans Myst).

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Hanswurst era in uso anche come parola ridicola di scherno.Martin Lutero  la utilizzò nel 1530 nel “Vermahnung an die Geistlichen, versammelt auf dem Reichstag zu Augsburg” e scrisse nel 1541 il documento polemico “Wider Hans Worst“. Nel sedicesimo  e neldicassettesimo secolo  si incontrano occasionalmente questi nomi figurativi negli spettacoli carnevaleschi e nelle commedie.Il medico itinerante e reggente del Teatrp Kartentor  a Vienna  dal 1712 .Joseph Anton Stranitxky , fece concorrenza alla compagnia  della Commedia dell’Arte   e sviluppò l’Hanswurst come figura comica tedesca, facendo così nascere il genere del Teatro Popolare tardo-viennese. L’Hans Wurst di Stranitzky portava il costume di un contadino salisburghese  , aveva un cappello con tesa larga ed un bastone di Arlecchino: parlava inoltre uno spiccato accento viennese.>> [wikipedia]

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Con questa precisazione il senso della mia analisi svolta nel post “Le risate di Hannah Arendt” non cambia. Anche solo guardandolo in foto, per non dire nei filmati del processo Eichmann tutto sembra fuorchè un istrione od un giullare (da “iocularis”) od un Arlecchino (al quale  veniva a sovrapporsi talora come un doppio   l’ Hanswurst). Hannah Arendt che voleva ridicolizzare Heichmann togliendogli ogni carattere demoniaco gli attribuisce, inconsapevolmente   quello   di un personaggio farsesco diabolico .  L’arlecchino ( da Holle Konig-re dell’inferno. od Herlechino demone gigante ) era originariamente legato  per la maschera nera seicentesa al ghigno del diavolo. Strani scherzi della lingua! Vedere nel criminale nazista il cui aspetto era quello di un tetro burocrate, una maschera della commedia dell’arte voleva  comunque dire fargli un grosso regalo. La reazione della Arendt alla lettura degli interrogatori di Adolf Eichmann apparentemente era stata  quella di una serie di  risate isteriche : però bisogna cogliere qualcosa di più profondo e di più inquietante. La risata come esorcizzazione del demoniaco?

 Dico questo perché mi sono imbattuto in un  documento video del 2009 che conferma sul piano storico le conclusioni a cui sono arrivato, nel mio post precedente,  attraverso un’impostazione psichiatrica.

Emmanuel Faye autore de ” Heidegger, L’introduzione del nazismo nella filosofia” (L’asino d’oro 2012 ) comincia dicendo che la Arendt non ha mai fatto riferimento in pubblico al nazismo di Heidegger ma anzi ha cercato sistematicamente di nasconderlo. E’ suo inoltre, secondo il francese,   il massimo contributo storico  alla propaganda  planetaria del” pensiero” del maestro.   Hannah  pronunciò nel 1969  un discorso apologetico  ( segue traduzione inglese ) paragonando il filosofo dell’esistenzialismo,  per importanza, a Platone. Quindi siamo di fronte ad una attività di occultamento e di mistificazione cosciente,e di camuffamento di idee dal contenuto assolutamente antiumano  che hanno ispirato il genocidio e l’assassinio di milioni di persone. E’ difficile relegare nel campo dell'”isteria” così confinante con la normalità, una condotta che implica una connivenza sia pure indiretta con una prassi criminale di inaudite proporzioni.

Non ho potuto vedere il film della Von Trotta: mi dicono però che la studiosa, non voglio dire filosofa, vien descritta come persona di grande umanità e affettività.  Se ciò è vero mi domando come sia stato possibile e su quali documenti ci si è basati per fare una ricostruzione storica. Altri hanno precisato che

<<(…) il film illustra bene la glaciale affettuosità della Arendt, l’astrattezza del suo pensiero e  la sua dipendenza da Heidegger. >>

Martin Heidegger at Eighty (1969)

 Hannah Arendt translated from the German by Albert Hofstader .
I have said that people followed the rumor about Heidegger in order to learn thinking. What was experienced was that thinking as pure activity—and this means impelled neither by the thirst for knowledge nor by the drive for cognition—can become a passion which not so much rules and oppresses all other capacities and gifts, as it orders them and prevails through them. We are so accustomed to the old opposition of reason versus passion, spirit versus life, that the idea of a passionatethinking, in which thinking and aliveness become one, takes us somewhat aback. Heidegger himself once expressed this unification—on the strength of a proven anecdote—in a single sentence, when at the beginning of a course on Aristotle he said, in place of the usual biographical introduction, “Aristotle was born, worked, and died.”That something like Heidegger’s passionate thinking exists is indeed, as we can recognize afterward, a condition of the possibility of there being any philosophy at all. But it is more than questionable, especially in our century, that we would ever have discovered this without the existence of Heidegger’s thinking. This passionate thinking, which rises out of the simple fact of being-born-in-the-world and now “thinks recallingly and responsively the meaning that reigns in everything that is” (Gelassenheit, 1959, p. 15),2 can no more have a final goal—cognition or knowledge—than can life itself. The end of life is death, but man does not live for death’s sake, but because he is a living being; and he does not think for the sake of any result whatever, but because he is a “thinking, that is, a musing being” (ibid.).A consequence of this is that thinking acts in a peculiarly destructive or critical way toward its own results. To be sure, since the philosophical schools of antiquity, philosophers have exhibited an annoying inclination toward system building, and we often have trouble disassembling the constructions they have built, when trying to uncover what they really thought. This inclination does not stem from thinking itself, but from quite other needs, themselves thoroughly legitimate. If one wished to measure thinking, in its immediate, passionate liveliness, by its results, then one would fare as with Penelope’s veil—what was spun during the day would inexorably undo itself again at night, so that the next day it could be begun anew. Each of Heidegger’s writings, despite occasional references to what was already published, reads as though he were starting from the beginning and only from time to time taking over the language already coined by him—a language, however, in which the concepts are merely “trail marks,” by which a new course of thought orients itself.

Heidegger refers to this peculiarity of thinking when he emphasizes that “thecritical question, what the matter of thought is, belongs necessarily and constantly to thinking”; when, on the occasion of a reference to Nietzsche, he speaks of “thinking’s recklessness, beginning ever anew”; when he says that thinking “has the character of a retrogression.” And he practices the retrogression when he subjectsBeing and Time to an “immanent criticism,” or establishes that his own earlier interpretation of Platonic truth “is not tenable,” or speaks generally of the thinker’s “backward glance” at his own work, “which always becomes a retractatio,” not actually a recanting, but rather a fresh rethinking of what was already thought (inZur Sache des Denkens, pp. 61, 30, 78).

Every thinker, if only he grows old enough, must strive to unravel what have actually emerged as the results of his thought, and he does this simply by rethinking them. (He will say with Jaspers, “And now, when you just wanted really to start, you must die.”) The thinking “I” is ageless, and it is the curse and the blessing of thinkers, so far as they exist only in thinking, that they become old without aging. Also, the passion of thinking, like the other passions, seizes the person—seizes those qualities of the individual of which the sum, when ordered by the will, amounts to what we commonly call “character”—takes possession of him and, as it were, annihilates his “character” which cannot hold its own against this onslaught. The thinking “I” which “stands within” the raging storm, as Heidegger says, and for which time literally stands still, is not just ageless; it is also, although always specifically other, without qualities. The thinking “I” is everything but the self of consciousness.

Moreover, thinking, as Hegel, in a letter to Zillmann in 1807, remarked about philosophy, is “something solitary,” and this not only because I am alone in what Plato speaks of as the “soundless dialogue with myself” (Sophist 263e), but because in this dialogue there always reverberates something “unutterable” which cannot be brought fully to sound through language and articulated in speech, and which, therefore, is not communicable, not to others and not to the thinker himself. It is presumably this “unsayable,” of which Plato speaks in the Seventh Letter, that makes thinking such a lonely business and yet forms the ever varied fertile soil from which it rises up and constantly renews itself. One could well imagine that—though this is hardly the case with Heidegger—the passion of thinking might suddenly beset the most gregarious man and, in consequence of the solitude it requires, ruin him.

The first and, so far as I know, the only one who has ever spoken of thinking as apathos, as something to be borne by enduring it, was Plato, who, in theTheaetetus (155d), calls wonder the beginning of philosophy; he certainly does not mean by this the mere surprise or astonishment that arises in us when we encounter something strange. For the wonder that is the beginning of thinking—as surprise and astonishment may well be the beginning of the sciences—applies to the everyday, the matter-of-course, what we are thoroughly acquainted and familiar with; this is also the reason why it cannot be quieted by any knowledge whatever. Heidegger speaks once, wholly in Plato’s sense, of the “faculty of wondering at the simple,” but, differently from Plato, he adds, “and of taking up and accepting this wondering as one’s abode” (Vorträge und Aufsätze, 1954, Part III, p. 259).

This addition seems to me decisive for reflecting on who Martin Heidegger is. For many—so we hope—are acquainted with thinking and the solitude bound up with it; but clearly, they do not have their residence there. When wonder at the simple overtakes them and, yielding to the wonder, they engage in thinking, they know they have been torn out of their habitual place in the continuum of occupations in which human affairs take place, and will return to it again in a little while. The abode of which Heidegger speaks lies therefore, in a metaphorical sense, outside the habitations of men; and although “the winds of thought,” which Socrates (according to Xenophon) was perhaps the first to mention, can be strong indeed, still these storms are even a degree more metaphorical than the metaphor of “storms of the age.”

Compared with other places in the world, the habitations of human affairs, the residence of the thinker is a “place of stillness” (Zur Sache des Denkens, p. 75). Originally it is wonder itself which begets and spreads the stillness; and it is because of this stillness that being shielded against all sounds, even the sound of one’s own voice, becomes an indispensable condition for thinking to evolve out of wonder. Enclosed in this stillness there happens a peculiar metamorphosis which affects everything falling within the dimension of thinking in Heidegger’s sense. In its essential seclusion from the world, thinking always has to do only with things absent, with matters, facts, or events which are withdrawn from direct perception. If you stand face to face with a man, you perceive him, to be sure, in his bodily presence, but you are not thinking of him. And if you think about him while he is present, you are secretly withdrawing from the direct encounter. In order to come close, in thinking, to a thing or to a human being, it or he must lie for direct perception in the distance. Thinking, says Heidegger, is “coming-into-nearness to the distant” (Gelassenheit p. 45; cf. Discourse on Thinking, p. 68).

One can easily bring this point home by a familiar experience. We go on journeys in order to see things in faraway places; in the course of this it often happens that the things we have seen come close to us only in retrospect or recollection, when we no longer are in the power of the immediate impression—it is as if they disclose their meaning only when they are no longer present. This inversion of relationship—that thinking removes what is close by, withdrawing from the near and drawing the distant into nearness—is decisive if we wish to find an answer to the question of where we are when we think. Recollection, which in thinking becomes remembrance, has played so prominent a role as a mental faculty in the history of thinking about thinking, because it guarantees us that nearness and remoteness, as they are given in sense perception, are actually susceptible of such an inversion.

Heidegger has expressed himself only occasionally, by suggestion, and for the most part negatively, about the “abode” where he feels at home, the residence of thinking—as when he says that thinking’s questioning is not “part of everyday life…it gratifies no urgent or prevailing need. The questioning itself is ‘out of order.’ ” (An Introduction to Metaphysics, Anchor Books, 1961, pp. 10-11). But this nearness-remoteness relation and its inversion in thinking pervades Heidegger’s whole work, like a key to which everything is attuned. Presence and absence, concealing and revealing, nearness and remoteness—their interlinkage and the connections prevailing among them—have next to nothing to do with the truism that there could not be presence unless absence were experienced, nearness without remoteness, discovery without concealment.

Seen from the perspective of thinking’s abode, “withdrawal of Being” or “oblivion of Being” reigns in the ordinary world which surrounds the thinker’s residence, the “familiar realms…of everyday life,” i.e., the loss of that with which thinking—which by nature clings to the absent—is concerned. Annulment of this “withdrawal,” on the other side, is always paid for by a withdrawal from the world of human affairs, and this remoteness is never more manifest than when thinking ponders exactly these affairs, training them into its own sequestered stillness. Thus, Aristotle, with the great example of Plato still vividly in view, has already strongly advised philosophers against dreaming of the philosopher-king who would rule ta ton anthropon pragmata, the realm of human affairs.

“The faculty of wondering,” at least occasionally, “at the simple” is presumably inherent in all humans, and the thinkers well-known to us from the past and in the present should then be distinguished by having developed out of this wonder the capacity to think and to unfold the trains of thought that were in each case suitable to them. However, the faculty of “taking up this wondering as one’s permanent abode” is a different matter. This is extraordinarily rare, and we find it documented with some degree of certainty only in Plato, who expressed himself more than once and most drastically in the Theaetetus (173d to 176) on the dangers of such a residence.

There too, he tells, apparently for the first time, the story of Thales and the Thracian peasant girl, who, watching the “wise man” glance upward in order to observe the stars only to fall into the well, laughed that someone who wants to know the sky should be so ignorant of what lies at his feet. Thales, if we are to trust Aristotle, was very much offended—the more so as his fellow citizens used to scoff at his poverty—and he proved by a large speculation in oil presses that it was an easy matter for “wise men” to get rich if they were to set their hearts on it (Politics, 1259a ff.). And since books, as everyone knows, are not written by peasant girls, the laughing Thracian child had still to submit to Hegel’s saying about her that she had no sense at all for higher things.

Plato who, in the Republic, wanted not only to put an end to poetry but also to forbid laughter, at least to the class of guardians, feared the laughter of his fellow citizens more than the hostility of those holding opinions opposed to the philosopher’s claim to absolute truth. Perhaps it was Plato himself who knew how likely it is that the thinker’s residence, seen from the outside, will look like the Aristophanic Cloud-cuckoo-land. At any rate, he was aware of the philosopher’s predicament: if he wants to carry his thoughts to market, he is likely to become the public laughingstock; and this, among other things, may have induced him, at an advanced age, to set out for Sicily three times in order to set the tyrant of Syracuse right by teaching him mathematics as the indispensable introduction to philosophy and hence to the art of ruling as a philosopher king.

He didn’t notice that this fantastic undertaking, if seen from the peasant girl’s perspective, looks considerably more comical than Thales’s mishap. And to a certain extent he was right in not noticing; for, so far as I know, no student of philosophy has ever dared to laugh, and no writer who has described this episode has even smiled. Men have obviously not yet discovered what laughter is good for—perhaps because their thinkers, who have always been ill-disposed toward laughter, have let them down in this respect, even though a few of them have racked their brains over the question of what makes us laugh.

Now we all know that Heidegger, too, once succumbed to the temptation to change his “residence” and to get involved in the world of human affairs. As to the world, he was served somewhat worse than Plato, because the tyrant and his victims were not located beyond the sea, but in his own country.3 As to Heidegger himself, I believe that the matter stands differently. He was still young enough to learn from the shock of the collision, which after ten short hectic months thirty-seven years ago drove him back to his residence, and to settle in his thinking what he had experienced.

What emerged from this was his discovery of the will as “the will to will” and hence as the “will to power.” In modern times and above all in the modern age, much has been written about the will, but despite Kant, despite even Nietzsche, not very much has been found out about its nature. However that may be, no one before Heidegger saw how much this nature stands opposed to thinking and affects it destructively. To thinking there belongs “Gelassenheit“—serenity, composure, release, a state of relaxation, in brief, a disposition that “lets be.” Seen from the standpoint of the will the thinker must say, only apparently in paradox, “I will non-willing”; for only “by way of this,” only when we “wean ourselves from will,” can we “release ourselves into the sought-for nature of the thinking that is not a willing” (Gelassenheit, p. 32f.; cf. Discourse on Thinking, pp. 59-60).

We who wish to honor the thinkers, even if our own residence lies in the midst of the world, can hardly help finding it striking and perhaps exasperating that Plato and Heidegger, when they entered into human affairs, turned to tyrants and Führers. This should be imputed not just to the circumstances of the times and even less to preformed character, but rather to what the French call a déformation professionelle. For the attraction to the tyrannical can be demonstrated theoretically in many of the great thinkers (Kant is the great exception). And if this tendency is not demonstrable in what they did, that is only because very few of them were prepared to go beyond “the faculty of wondering at the simple” and to “accept this wondering as their abode.”

With these few it does not finally matter where the storms of their century may have driven them. For the wind that blows through Heidegger’s thinking—like that which still sweeps toward us after thousands of years from the work of Plato—does not spring from the century he happens to live in. It comes from the primeval, and what it leaves behind is something perfect, something which, like everything perfect (in Rilke’s words), falls back to where it came from.

Il vento che soffia attraverso il pensiero di Heidegger è il nazismo secondo Emmanuel Faye e la sua derivazione storica è la filosofia  di Platone come chiarisce molto bene  Hannah Arendt.   La celebrazione degli ottantanni  del filosofo nel 1969 si colloca all’apice dell’ evoluzione  di un rapporto che era ripreso nel 1950 quando Hannah e Martin si sono reincontrati  a Friburgo dopo più di ventanni dalla loro separazione nel 1928. In quell’occasione Heidegger dichiara che la donna è stata l’unico amore della sua vita: tanto bastò perchè ella intraprendesse l’opera di restauro dell’immagine del vecchio amante e maestro  che culminò con la dichiarazione che egli era il re  segreto della filosofia avendo detronizzato nel  suo cuore nientemeno che Kant. Naturalmente nei confronti del re filosofo, come nella Repubblica di Platone, è proibito la risata,  o meglio  di lui non si riesce a ridere  <<  Gli uomini-scrive Hannah-non hanno ovviamente scoperto il vero significato ed obiettivo della risata forse perché i pensatori -che sono sempre stati mal disposti verso il ridere-non li hanno aiutati sotto questo profilo, anche se alcuni   fra loro si sono spremute le meningi sulla questione di cos’è che ci fa ridere>>

A questo punto per me è diventato  molto difficile trattenere un sorriso  pensando a tutta la storia, quasi incredibile, di Adolf Heichmann,  del “Hanswurst” e dell'”Arlecchino e del re filosofo.

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