Sprach-Exil und „Haus des Seins“

Zum Status dichterischer Rede bei Bachmann und Celan in der Auseinandersetzung mit einem Topos Martin Heideggers

  • Markus May Universität München


Heidegger’s concept of language as “the house of being”, alongside the notion that poets are destined to be the “keepers” of this “house”, appealed pre-eminently to German-speaking post-war poets such as Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan. Such poets dealt critically with this idea because of Heidegger’s refusal to confront his own highly controversial stance after Hitler’s rise to power in 1933. According to Celan and Bachmann, the philosophical problem involved was not so much a hazy understanding of “Seinsvergessenheit” (forgetfulness of being), but that of a wilful repression of one’s individual and collective past, which is to say the deliberate refusal to acknowledge personal guilt. The dialogically related poems Exil (Exile) and In die Ferne (Into the Distance), both written in 1957, provided alternative poetic versions of the idea of “dwelling in language”, which can be regarded as answers to Heidegger on behalf of those who were silenced in the Shoah, those who Heidegger had deliberately forgotten.

Wahrheit: Eine „neue Sprache“ der Dichtung?