Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Yoga is skill in writing biographies

It would be interesting for someone to write a really good biography of Heidegger only during the Marburg period. … we get the human interest drama with the whole Hannah Arendt story … Heidegger Marburg  Stuart has a post up pretty much DISAGREEING WITH EVERYTHING I SAID about the Marburg biography. I don’t follow his argument this time, I must say.
Kisiel’s book is a scholarly achievement, but in almost no sense is it a biography. It is a very detailed summary of all of Heidegger’s work of those years. The case of Van Buren is slightly different; it’s a bit more readable than Kisiel’s though less encyclopedic. But again, it is not the sort of thing I was asking for with my post.
There are some really skilled biographies of intellectual figures out there, ones that really unlock the secrets of key turning points in careers and lives. And it’s not true that we have that for the Marburg Heidegger, despite Stuart’s recommendations for those two useful books he cited.
A 1930′s Heidegger biography would have its own interest, but Being and Time is the book that made Heidegger, and if you had to focus one period, that’s the place to do it.]

Harman can hugely update his notion of “skilled biographies” if he takes up The Lives of Sri Aurobindo or Ramakrishna Paramhansa for reading. [TNM]

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