Baldwin, language, blackness

December 3, 2013 § Leave a comment

In “Letter on Humanism,” a letter written to French theorist Jean Beaufret in response to the claim that his book Being and Time did not contain an ethics, Martin Heidegger famously remarks that “language is the house of Being.” This is a signature moment in Heidegger’s work, one that (roughly) shifts his work from the relationship between subjectivity and ontology to the more searching, and certainly more peculiar, question of language, truth, and Being. But Heidegger underscores something very important in this famous remark: language and what it means to be are inextricably linked. « Read the rest of this entry »


Trouble and Death

November 14, 2013 § 1 Comment

I’m writing and thinking about two passages. The first is an old 1920s blues and string band lyric, one that has many variations, but comes down to this turn of phrase:

If trouble don’t kill me

I believe I’ll never die

The lyric comes up a lot in profoundly sad and mournful songs, of course, but also in dance tunes. « Read the rest of this entry »

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