No Account of Heidegger’s Death?

I was reminded a while ago of Hannah Arendt’s report on/fictional account of Eichmann’s execution and how he exemplified to her a life that is all cliché, right up to his death. The paradigmatic thinker whom she sometimes opposes to thoughtless Eichmann is, of course, Socrates, whose death has been immortalized by Plato.

But a more uncanny counterpart (and probably equally present to her mind, on her pages) would be Heidegger — a thinker like Socrates and, like Eichmann, a Nazi). It seems, we do not have any accounts of how the man who thought so much about our finitude, in the end, faced his own. (Safrankski’s biography does not; Alfred Denker tells me there is an account of his death but not one to be published on social media.)

Perhaps the very absence of a (fictional) account could be meaningful in the light of the Eichmann-Socrates-Heidegger constellation but silences are easy to misread.

*

Giuseppe de Cesaris tells me that two of the Hölderlin’s verses he had chosen to be read at his funeral were: “Nicht ist es aber die Zeit. Noch sind sie Unangebunden” and, about thirthy years before, he had written: “Auf einen Stern zugehen, nur dieses.”

 

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