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Responding to Loss: Heideggerian Reflections on Literature, Architecture, and Film

Responding to Loss: Heideggerian Reflections on Literature, Architecture, and Film

Copyright Date: 2015
Published by: Fordham University Press
Pages: 208
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  • Book Info
    Responding to Loss: Heideggerian Reflections on Literature, Architecture, and Film
    Book Description:

    Much recent philosophical work proposes to illuminate dilemmas of human existence with reference to the arts and culture, often to the point of submitting particular works to preconceived formulations. In this examination of three texts that respond to loss, Robert Mugerauer responds with close, detailed readings that seek to clarify the particularity of the intense force such works bring forth. Mugerauer shows how, in the face of what is irrevocably taken away as well as of what continues to be given, the unavoidable task of interpretation is ours alone. Mugerauer examines works in three different forms that powerfully call on us to respond to loss: Cormac McCarthy's The Crossing, Daniel Libeskind's Jewish Museum Berlin, and Wim Wenders's film Wings of Desire. Explicating these difficult but rich works with reference to the thought of Martin Heidegger, Jean-Luc Marion, Hannah Arendt, and Emmanuel Levinas, the author helps us to experience the multiple and diverse ways in which all of us are opened to the saturated phenomena of loss, violence, witnessing, and responsibility.

    eISBN: 978-0-8232-6327-1
    Subjects: Film Studies

Table of Contents

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  1. 1 The Hermit’s and the Priest’s Injustices: Reading Cormac McCarthy’s The Crossing with Heidegger and Anaximander
    (pp. 1-46)

    I want to inquire into the mysterious relationships among the greatest realities—nature, humans, and the gods—and to approach the core enigma of whether we live in a chaos or in the well ordered, that is, within a cosmos. How should we live within what appears to be radical flux, where our all too transitory lives seem to count for little within the overall ebb and flow? Perhaps with the hope of the orthodox Jew, Christian, or Muslim? Or, in the manner of the stoic, whether personally world weary or responsible for vast realms of public life, as was...

  2. 2 Art, Architecture, Violence: Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Museum Berlin
    (pp. 47-108)

    Architecture is distinct from but belongs together with poetry and the other arts, especially when thought originarily, as Heidegger has taught us to try to do. Art works can be sites of disclosure: as things they gather together the dimensions of historically unfolding worlds. Because they are particular, to approach them thoughtfully and to respond to them adequately we need to inquire into specific works and worlds. In regard to violence and loss we could begin by asking what it would mean to use a Heideggerian kind of thinking to interpret Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Museum Berlin (originally titled the Extension...

  3. 3 When the Given Is Gone: From the Black Forest to Berlin and Back via Wim Wenders’ Der Himmel Über Berlin
    (pp. 109-140)

    What once was given is gone. We have rehearsed the story of the loss of a coherent world many times. The order provided by cultural realms such as the Greek polis, the Roman Empire, medieval Christendom, Renaissance Europe, nineteenth- and twentieth-century nationalisms and technological inventions is long gone, replaced by the unfulfilled promise of globalism that has fractured into myriad competing localisms, even provincialisms—as if we were back before Homer with each valley a suspicious stranger of the next. Now, the last rural ways of life, which have managed to persist because of remote locations, succumb to the lures...