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Parvis Emad & Kenneth Maly: GRUND


sábado 8 de abril de 2017, por Cardoso de Castro

Translator’s Foreword

I. The Group of Words That Gather Around One Single Word

5. Grund   and Related Words

The clue to translating words such as Abgrund  , Ungrund, Urgrund, gründen, Gründer, and Gründung — all of which directly pertain to being’s sway — is given in the word Grund. Thus, when Heidegger asks, "Why is Da-sein   the [Grund] and [Abgrund] for historical man . . . and why should he then not   continue to be the way he is?" he alludes to the proximity of Grund to Abgrund. Grund can be clearly brought into English with ground, and this word guides and "grounds" the compounds of Grund: Abgrund, Ungrund, and Urgrund. Any English word that fails to preserve the connection that these words have to ground is misleading and inappropriate.

Analyses in Contributions that are carried out under the title Gründung — and specifically those devoted to "time-space" and "the last   god" — rely directly on what Heidegger, using all the force of hyphenation, calls Ab-grund. The significance of this word in Heidegger’s eyes becomes unmistakably clear when we come upon his crucial pronouncement in section 242: "Der Ab-grund ist Ab-grund." Stressing either the prefix ab- or the noun   Grund, Heidegger puts forth the entire context in which space and time are lodged, i.e., determined by an Ab-grund. However, he cautions us not to misunderstand Ab-grund as something negative. He says Ab-grund "is not . . . simply pulling back and going away," but a staying away. In staying away Ab-grund somehow is. Considering what goes on in Contributions regarding "time," "space," "ground," and "god," we realized that Ab-grund cannot be translated with "abyss," or "non-ground" because neither of these renditions reflect that Ab-grund is a ground that prevails while staying away. It is the element of staying in staying away that the words non-ground and abyss are incapable of reflecting. Thus these existing options for the rendition of Abgrund — namely non-ground and abyss — fail to reflect the sense in which Abgrund does not say dissipation and disappearance of ground. We realized that, in order to reflect the sense in which Abgrund shows the staying power of the ground, we need an English word other than non-ground or abyss.

The word we were looking for had to meet the following requirements: (a) it had to be equipped with a prefix that would allow the translation to reflect the movement of staying away in the ab- of Ab-grund, (b) it had to preserve the word ground as the rendition of Grund, © it had to be structured in such a way as to provide the possibility of receiving an emphasis that is placed either on ab- or on Grund. We found such a word in abground.

The prefix ab in English reflects the movement of "staying away from something" and enables the translation to convey what Heidegger has in mind when he uses the German prefix ab-. When this prefix is attached to the word ground, it conveys the sense of a ground that stays away and in staying away somehow is. Putting ab and ground together, we arrive at a word in translation that reflects what goes on in Ab-grund. The word abground then provides a fitting translation of Abgrund.

Renditions of Grund and Abgrund with ground and abground easily lead to translation of Ungrund and Urgrund: as "unground" and "urground." Prefixes such as un- and ur- in English facilitate these renditions. These renditions readily allow for hyphenated forms of these words.

Gründung, the name of one of the six "joinings" of Contributions is a special case. Seen in the light of being-historical thinking, Gründung indicates a "ground" that is urground, abground, and unground at the same time. The reader must keep in mind the significant and subtle difference between Gründung as "grounding" that goes straightaway for a ground as the ground and a "grounding" that involves a ground which is simultaneously urground, abground, and unground. We translate Gründung as "grounding," while advising the reader that here in Contributions it is always the latter sense of the word grounding that is meant.

The same considerations apply to the verb gründen. Gründen works with 3 "ground" that is simultaneously "urground, abground, and unground." Here a happy coincidence — rare in this translation work! — emerges: two English words overlap and interweave in their etymology and disclosive power: founding (from the latin fundus) and grounding (from the German Grund). Whereas they are not so close together in their noun forms — "foundation" and "ground" — their verb-forms show great affinity: "To found" and "to ground." We translate gründen as either "to ground" or "to found," depending on the context. In either case it says fundamentally the same thing. In the same vein, Gründer is "founder."