Sunday, April 15, 2012

“Dear Professor Jennifer,...”



I sent a letter (email) today to Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei, Professor of Philosophy, and I actually began it “Dear Professor Jennifer.” You’ll see shortly (a posting) that I wasn’t presumpt-uous. (Whomever annoyed her by doing that photo was).
But I was a little vain.

Anyway, J.A.G-F masterfully exemplifies what philosophy of literature can be.

I didn’t confess that we’ve been to bed in fantasy, nor that I celebrated her Ecstatic Quotidian (book review here) a couple of years ago. She recently published Exotic Spaces in German Modernism, which my letter begins a response to (probably not to be continued). (The Exotic… link goes to a Table of Contents that links to the very-engaging “Introduction,” sans 2 pages).

Best of all, to my mind, she’s a Heidegger scholar. My letter not only talks about Heidegger, but quotes and alludes without citation, because I know that she knows what I’m talking about. No other reader would, I suppose, but the letter can still make sense and be interesting to others; so, posting it might be worth more than logging part of my recent use of free time.

Philosophy outside of Germany can easily do without worrying about Heidegger’s German problems. However, his issues were/are essential to understanding European philosophy in the mid-to-late 20th century, and that remains integral to the history of philosophy. And the historicality of philosophy is important for understanding potentials of the humanities (which must avoid the legacies of misconception that turn intellectual vanity into unwitting domination, if not Will to Power).

Then, one might truly leave all that behind. Meanwhile, scholarship about this isn’t a waste of time. So, too, for response to such scholarship—which, in my case, would easily make sense to Jennifer at least—including my fondness for a tropology of conceptual gardening and my play with textual intimacy.

Finally, my comment near the end of the posting (linked below) about a “fourfold” refers to a trOpical feature of Heidegger’s elderly thinking, which is appropriated from Hölderlin’s fourfold tropic: Earth, Sky, Divinities, and Mortals—and Jennifer, a Hölderlinian reader of Heidegger in her first book Heidegger, Hölderlin, and the Subject of Poetic Language: Toward a New Poetics of Dasein [i.e., there being], would appreciate the point.

I titled my letter “Having a post-exotic time. Thank you!,” but my posting title is, well, different.