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Maintaining the Sublime

Heidegger and Adorno

Jan Rosiek

Heidegger and Adorno, two of the most influential German thinkers of the twentieth century, share certain neglected affinities, a sensibility to religious traces and an inclination for metaphysical speculation as well as an emphasis on the importance of a nonscientific view of nature. Maintaining the Sublime discusses these affinities in the context of a new definition of the sublime as the religio-literary translation of the metaphysical. Offering a survey of the Kantian and Longinian traditions of the sublime, it traces the maintaining of this other mode of sublimity in Heidegger's and Adorno's readings of poetry, which center on the poetic moment of favor that allows the address of nature. Prominent among the poets read are Hölderlin and Goethe, but the book also includes discussions of readings of Eichendorff, Mörike, George, Rilke and Trakl.