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Krell (1991:81-83) – Lichtung

segunda-feira 29 de janeiro de 2024, por Cardoso de Castro


Heidegger oferece muita informação sobre a palavra Lichtung   no ensaio que estou a discutir. Ele fornece-a na conclusão das suas observações sobre Hegel   e Husserl   e como forma de introduzir a questão da aletheia  . Essa introdução pode ser resumida em quatro passos.

1. Tanto para a dialética especulativa como para a fenomenologia transcendental  , a matéria da filosofia vem a brilhar, torna-se presente.

2. Esse brilhar ocorre dentro de uma certa luminosidade ou brilho, Helle.

3. O próprio brilho requer um espaço aberto ou livre no qual a luta entre luminosidade e obscuridade pode ocorrer.

4. O nome dessa abertura, a região livre, é die Lichtung.

Heidegger explica agora que a palavra Lichtung tenta traduzir a clairière francesa, sendo a própria palavra modelada morfologicamente nas formas - já não mais atuais no dialeto - Waldung e Feldung. E acrescenta:

A clareira da floresta é vivida em contraste com a floresta densa, chamada Dickung na nossa língua mais antiga. O substantivo Lichtung remonta ao verbo lichten. O adjetivo licht é a mesma palavra que "leve" [ou seja, não pesado]. Aliviar algo significa torná-lo leve, livre e aberto; por exemplo, tornar a floresta livre de árvores num determinado local. O espaço livre assim originado é a clareira. O que é leve no sentido de ser livre e aberto não tem nada em comum com o adjetivo "light" que significa "brilhante", nem linguisticamente nem em termos da matéria. É o que se observa na diferença entre clareira e luz. No entanto, é possível que exista uma relação factual entre os dois. A luz pode entrar na clareira, na sua abertura, e deixar que a claridade brinque com a escuridão. Mas a luz nunca cria primeiro a clareira. Pelo contrário, a luz pressupõe a clareira.


Heidegger supplies a great deal of information   about the word Lichtung in the essay I have been discussing. He supplies it in conclusion to his remarks on Hegel and Husserl and by way of introducing the matter of aletheia. That introduction may be summarized in four steps.

1. For both speculative dialectic and transcendental phenomenology the matter of philosophy comes to shine forth, becomes present.

2. Such shining forth occurs within a certain luminosity or brightness, Helle.

3. Brightness itself requires an open or free space in which the strife of luminosity and obscurity can occur.

4. The name of such openness, the free region, is die Lichtung.

Heidegger now explains that the word Lichtung tries to translate the French clairière, the word itself being modeled morphologically on the forms—no longer current even in dialect—Waldung and Feldung. He adds:

The forest clearing is experienced in contrast to dense forest, called Dickung in our older language. The substantive Lichtung goes back to the verb lichten. The adjective licht is the same word as “light” [i.e., not   heavy]. To lighten something means to make it light, free and open; for example, to make the forest free of trees at one place. The free space thus originating is the clearing. What is light in the sense of being free and open has nothing in common with the adjective “light” which means “bright,” neither linguistically nor in terms of the matter. This is to be observed regarding the difference between clearing and light. Nevertheless, it is possible that a factual relation between the two exists. Light can stream into the clearing, into its openness, and let brightness play with darkness in it. But light never first creates the clearing. Rather, light presupposes the clearing.

[82] The passage tries to prevent Lichtung and lichten from collapsing into the meaning ensconced in the substantive das Licht, “the light.” It makes special demands on both language and thought. Perhaps we should take a moment to consider the demands made on language—parallel though not identical—in German and English.

Lichten is in fact two verbs. The first is related to the adjective licht (Old High German lioht, Middle High German lieht) meaning “bright,” “luminous.” It stems from the Indo-Germanic root leuk-, “shining white,” as in the words leukos, lux, lumen. In this sense lichten, used transitively, means “to make bright, to illuminate.” In the passive voice, for example in Schiller  ’s phrase, taghell ist die Nacht gelichtet, the word is only quasi-transitive, quite close to the (poetic) intransitive, der Tag lichtet. Goethe   uses the intransitive to describe lightning: nun wittert und lichtet es gut  .

However, lichten is also a form of leichten, related to the adjective leicht   (Middle High German lihte), meaning “of little weight, not heavy.” Its Indo-Germanic root appears in the Sanskrit laghu and the Greek elaphros, elachys, “small, lightweight.” (Heidegger is therefore quite right to note that although their morphological history is one of increasing convergence the words have distinct origins.) Lichten in the sense of leichten, always transitive, means to make less heavy or to heave up and carry. One sets sail by “weighing anchor,” die Anker lichten. In seaport towns small harbor vessels called Leichter or “lighters” are employed to disburden ships of their cargo. Recall Walt Whitman espying “the belated lighter” while “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” (11. 46 and 117). Elsewhere, on the parade ground or battlefield, one can thin the ranks, die Reihen der Kämpfer lichten. In a portion of the forest, as Heidegger relates, one can thin or clear the forest of trees, den Wald lichten.

The adjective leicht, in addition to its central meaning, also possesses a number of fascinating derivative senses. In architecture leicht suggests the opposite of squat or bulky—hence airy, soaring; leicht in general may also mean nicht   schwierig, not difficult, easy; in terms of injury leicht means gering, slight or insignificant. Finally, leicht is related to the words gelingen, “to be successful,” Lunge, “the lungs,” and lungern, “to crave.”

Everyone interested in the English-language parallels should read the twelve gripping pages of the Oxford English Dictionary that treat the cognates of “light.” Here is but one sidelight, hardly a highlight, on the adjective “light” in the sense of “not heavy.” As we have just seen, elaphros and elachys are related to the “lung,” that airy, sponge-like organ   that preserves us in the light of day, or the light of day in us. The connection of “light” and “lung” seems farfetched until we recall the rather skeptical account offered by Leopold Bloom (the “distinguished phenomenologist”) of the resurrection of the dead in Christian dogma:

[83] The resurrection and the life. Once you are dead you are dead. That last   day idea  . Knocking them all up out of their graves. Come forth, Lazarus! And he came fifth and lost the job. Get up! Last day! Then every fellow mousing around for his liver and his lights and the rest of his traps. . . . [Joyce, Ulysses, “Hades”]

The lights are the lungs. Perhaps, as lungern suggests, and the ancient Greeks attest, they are the seat of all enthysiasmos, here meaning the attunement of all disclosure.

Ver online : David Farrell Krell

[KRELL, David F. Intimations of mortality: time, truth, and finitude in Heidegger’s thinking of being. 2. print ed. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State Univ. Press, 1991]