Looking into the Heart of Light: Considering the Poetic Event in the Work of T.S. Eliot and Martin Heidegger

Philosophy and Literature 38 (2):350-367 (2014)
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Abstract

No one is quite sure what happened to T.S. Eliot in that rose-garden. What we do know is that it formed the basis for Four Quartets, arguably the greatest English poem written in the twentieth century. Luckily it turns out that Martin Heidegger, when not pondering the meaning of being, spent a great deal of time thinking and writing about the kind of event that Eliot experienced. This essay explores how Heidegger developed the concept of Ereignis, “event” which, in the context of Eliot’s poetry, helps us understand an encounter with the “heart of light” a little better.

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Dominic Griffiths
University of Witwatersrand

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