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Interpretations of Fr. Hölderlin’s poetry in the lectures of M. Heidegger: ecological implications

Liberal Arts in Russia. 2018. Vol. 7. No. 5. Pp. 346-361.
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Safronova N.
Moscow State University
27/4 Lomonosovsky Avenue, 119192 Moscow, Russia


M. Heidegger’s lecture courses on Fr. Hölderlin’s hymns “Germanien”, “Rhein”, “Andenken”, and “Ister” are not only crucial for the study of the development of Heidegger’s thought between 1930s and 1950s, but are also exceptionally rich with ecological insights. This article presents an attempt to explicate the ecophilosophical relevance of M. Heidegger’s hermeneutics of poetry and nature elaborated in these lectures. Philosopher’s hermeneutic demand to preserve the plurality of meanings of nature reflects the ecological idea of preservation of life’s diversity. The careful treatment of the particularities of a local landscape in Hölderlin’s poetry manifests the principle of openness towards one’s own homely landscape and mirrors the ideas of organic architecture, also focused on natural details of a specific location. The revelation of the language of landscape shows affinities between the dynamics of poetic speech and the “language” of nature, bringing about the metamorphosis of nature’s significance from a speechless object into a free interlocutor in a dialogue with human beings. At the core of the lectures lies the idea of homecoming that leads to the reinterpretation of “dwelling” as a challenging goal for the future humanity. The achievement of this goal demands a new kind of phenomenology of familiar, everyday spaces and presupposes the development of new ways to deal and communicate with our ever-present natural surroundings. These should originate from a new attitude of “letting-be” explicated in the lectures in terms of “greeting” and “gratefulness”.


  • • M. Heidegger
  • • overcoming of metaphysics
  • • ecophilosophy
  • • hermeneutics
  • • phenomenology of space
  • • language of landscape
  • • poetry and philosophy


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