Renunciation: Heidegger, Agamben, Blanchot, Vattimo
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BARTOLONI, P. (2009). Renunciation: Heidegger, Agamben, Blanchot, Vattimo1. Comparative Critical Studies, 6(1), 67-92.
In the essay Das Wort (Words) in On the Way to Language, Martin Heidegger speaks of 'renunciation' (Verzicht) as the necessary route towards experiencing that which remains otherwise invisible and unsayable. Heidegger defines the unsayable alternatively as the essence, the origin, Being, aletheia. The confrontation with and the conceptualization of origin and renunciation has characterized most of modern and contemporary philosophy and literature, from Heidegger¿s contemporary Walter Benjamin to authors and philosophers such as Baudelaire, Kafka, Rilke, Blanchot, Caproni and Agamben. Yet, there remains a large degree of confusion and ambiguity as to the philosophical significance of origin, as well as its supposed privileged entrance, renunciation. Is renunciation the passivity of a cultural state, a habitus between action and negativity; or is it, rather, the deliberate production of a language and of a subjectivity that know and experience otherwise? This article interrogates some of these issues by focusing on Heidegger¿s articulation of Verzicht and the ways in which his articulation might have influenced authors writing in his wake such as Agamben, Blanchot and Vattimo.