AUTHOR: Carlin Romano, critic at large for the Chronicle of Higher Education Review
LENGTH: 1,730 words
DRIVING QUESTION: "How many scholarly stakes in the heart will we need before Martin Heidegger (1889-1976), still regarded by some as Germany's greatest 20th-century philosopher, reaches his final resting place as a prolific, provincial Nazi hack?"
TARGET AUDIENCE: The teeming hordes of Heidegger fans who, in the throes of their enthusiasm, have failed to appreciate the philosopher's well-known Nazi ties
WHOM HEIDEGGER REMINDS HIM OF: Annie Leibovitz, particularly in her photos of Susan Sontag "in the latter's final battle against cancer"
THE MOST SCHOLARLY WAY HITLER'S 'PATH' HAS EVER BEEN 'GREASED': with "antihumanistic apotheosis of ruler over ruled"
HORROR OF HORRORS: "For a reified phenomenon, 'Human Being,' like the Yeti, has managed to elude all on-camera confirmation"
PLEASE FIND THIS MAN A COPY EDITOR: "To his credit, Faye takes the usually avoided logical step of articulating that goal"
REFERENCES TO WOLFSBANE (LATIN: ACONITUM): 1
INSTANCES OF UNNECESSARY GERMAN TERM-DROPPING: 11 (Kampf, Opfer, völkisch, Gleichschaltung, Blut und Boden, Dasein--three times--Gesamtausgabe, Volk, Meister)
WHAT ROMANO MAY HAVE FORGOTTEN FROM GERMAN CLASS: "Dasein"--even if it had a plural, which it does not--could not plausibly be pluralized with an "s"
THE FINAL VERBIAGE:
It would seem that Heidegger, likewise, will continue to flourish until even "Continental" philosophers mock him to the hilt. His influence will end only when they, and the broader world of intellectuals, recognize that scholarly evidence fingers the scowling proprietor of Heidegger's hut as a buffoon produced by German philosophy's mystical tradition. He should be the butt of jokes, not the subject of dissertations.
In the meantime, we can expect Heidegger's Faux Tyrolean Wardrobe and the Specter of Carl Schmitt to roll off a university press before too long, sans cartoons or illustrative plates.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.