Deborah Levitt - Heidegger and the Theater of Truth

Act I. Scene 1: The Freiburg-Paris Express
Scene 2: From Theory to Theater
Scene 3: What is? and the Form of Representation
Scene 4: From Shadow to Scene
Scene 5: The Event

Act II. Scene 1


Act I. Scene 1: The Freiburg-Paris Express

Martin Heidegger: ... in principle, the objectness in which at any given time nature, man, history, language exhibit themselves always itself remains only one kind of presencing, in which indeed that what presences can appear, but never absolutely must appear. That which is not to be gotten around ... holds sway in the essence of every science. Is this, then, the inconspicuous state of affairs that we should like to bring into view? Yes and no.1

Antonin Artaud: We intend to base the theater upon spectacle before everything else, and we shall introduce into the spectacle a new notion of space utilized on all possible levels and in all degrees of perspective in depth and within this notion a specific idea of time will be added to that of movement .. Thus, theater will be utilized not only in its dimensions and volume but, so to speak, in its undersides [dans ses dessous].2

Jacques Derrida: We touch here on one of the most difficult points of this whole problematic, when we must recover language without language, this interplay of forces which are mute but already haunted by writing, where the conditions of a performative are established, as are the rules of the game and the limits of subversion.3

Martin Heidegger: The establishing of truth in the work is the bringing forth of a being such as never was before and never will be again... Truth establishes itself in the work. Truth is present only as the conflict between lighting and concealing in the opposition of world and earth. Truth wills to be established in the work as this conflict of world and earth. The conflict is not to be resolved in a being brought forth for the purpose, nor is it to be merely housed there; the conflict, on the contrary, is started by it. This being must therefore contain within itself the essential traits of the conflict. In the strife the unity of world and earth is won. As a world opens itself, it submits to an historical humanity the question of victory and defeat, blessing and curse, mastery and slavery. The dawning world brings out what is as yet undecided and measureless, and thus discloses the hidden necessity of measure and decisiveness.4

Jacques Derrida: In the fleeting moment when it plays the law, a literature passes literature. It is on both sides of the line that separates law from outlaw, it splits the being- before-the-law, it is at once, like the man from the country, "before the law" and "prior to the law" ["devant la loi" et "avant la loi"]. Prior to the being-before-the-law which is also that of the doorkeeper. But within so unlikely a site, would it have taken place? Would it have been appropriate to [y aura-t-il lieu de] name literature.5

The Chorus: We want to begin by contextualizing this discussion in the space of a very large problematic which we don't propose to address fully, but into which -- through certain figures of Martin Heidegger's -- we would like to make a series of forays: Our question concerns the manner in which space is constructed in a particular time and place, in or as a particular episteme, and how the space of literature -- or the spaces of literatures -- figure and reconfigure these constructions, how they can, in other words, "play the law"...

According to Heidegger, a space cannot exist unless there is, first, a site and a site cannot exist without there first being a boundary. "A boundary is not that at which something stops, as the Greeks recognized, a boundary is that from which something begins its presencing."6 In other words, the boundary, or the marking, always precedes and makes possible, a space. Heidegger tells us, further, that the essential characteristic of "man's" existence is dwelling in this space whose mark or bounds founds its existence and that (drawing this out) the particular dwelling that characterizes the Being of any age, and thus the existence of beings in relation to it, is "mapped," so to speak, by the particular boundaries, sites, and spaces that exist there.

Issues of space and site are important in a number of Heidegger's essays, including "The Origin of the Work of Art," "The Age of the World Picture," and "Science and Reflection." In these essays, however, Heidegger focuses on the spaces produced by various -- and always shifting -- forms of representation. Heidegger shifts the conventional definition of representation as something that stands in for something else and rather conceives representation in terms of a particular spatial arrangement, or more precisely, through a number of them as each period in the history he sketches out for us has its own diagram. These forms of representation then determine the "truth of an age." The first diagram is the Platonic one. Here, a beholder viewing a thing also "sees" the form, or eidos, which exists "behind" it, linking vision, by a straight line through empty space, to a static Idea. The second diagram Heidegger describes, the Cartesian-Modern, is dominated by the back and forth motion of the subject's relationship to the objective which constitutes the world as "picture" and as calculable objective system. The third diagram that I will discuss might be called the Pre-Socratic Heideggerian. Here, the "metaphysics of sight" is displaced in favor of a physics of site. Placement, positioning, spacing determine the production of truth now conceived, precisely, as a production. The third diagram moves from the representation that characterizes the first two (Vorstellung) to a model of presentation (Darstellung). It reacts quite explicitly, however, to the first two, playing their laws. First, Heidegger cuts the thread that binds both beholder and "thing" to the static idea; and second, he reconfigures the subject-object movement of the modern form (which, Heidegger suggests, results in the stance of "mastery" that stages an "assault" on the objective world.) Truth is produced, in the third diagram, not through correctness, or a model of reference in which the thing perceived as true is so because it refers to something else, but rather truth is produced in and as an event, a "happening." The question "what is it" as the inaugural gesture of philosophy is shifted as Heidegger instead asks, "where and how does it occur."

At the risk of digressing here, let me attempt to first characterize the conception of truth as aletheia, and the form of representation or presentation, that characterizes Heidegger's third diagram. He introduces it in the space of his critique of truth as correctness. The conventional determination of truth, he suggests, proceeds through an adequation of one thing with another. The "thing" is true because it corresponds with an idea (as in Plato) or, the idea is true because it corresponds with the "real" conditions of a material thing (as in the mode of scientific inquiry). This model of truth as adequation, or correctness, he suggests, draws us around in a kind of circle. How can we establish the "truth" of the first thing, how does its truth "become visible"? The only manner in which, he suggests, something can become visible is in the space of the open, a space in which two things, or entities, confront one another. In the open, these beings regard one another, seeing only those angles made visible by the particular standing -- or placement -- of each. Each being appears then not as an absolutely known or knowable entity, but rather in the particular aspects of it that are unconcealed in the context of the particular relation. To vastly oversimplify (and leave out the questions of what we might conceive as foreground and background, the relation of being and Being that also determine this relation), when you look at something you see only its "front"; both its "back" and, to use an Artaudian term, its "undersides" remain concealed. It is in this sense that Heidegger speaks of truth as determined by both an unconcealing and a concealing, or a veiling and an unveiling. Nothing "appears" absolutely but rather "presences" in a particular way determined both by its position and by the position of the other "beholder." (I say other because the "thing" always returns the gaze; it is never merely an "object.") It is in this sense that Heidegger conceives truth as radically historical, dependent on the situation in which it "becomes visible," a situation governed by both spacing and the temporal condition always inherent in the relation of being to Being as temporal.

The Open then and, as I will discuss below, the opening engendered by the artwork, is conceived in terms of what I want to read as a kind of theatrical space but a reconfigured theatrical space in which the beholders, or spectators, are not outside of but rather in, or on, the scene and one in which, as I will discuss more fully below, the substitution of site for sight opens a spatiality (which the first two diagrams, in different ways, bind to the past or to a pre-established ground) to the future. Here, the "open context of relations" (with, of course, its shadows and concealings) posits, or positions, the opening of space as a new beginning and a new beginning as the opening of space.

* * * *

To make something of a leap here, on to the Freiburg-Paris Express, Heidegger's theater of truth (a truth produced through, among other modes, the artwork or "creative questioning") is a kind of theater of cruelty. To both Heidegger and Artaud (The Theater and its Double, "The Origin of the Work of Art" and "The Age of the World Picture" were all written in the thirties) a certain form of theatricality with its alternative topography appeared as a kind of answer to what they conceived, albeit in often quite different ways, as the repressive coordinates of a modern form of representation (to employ a rather totalizing formulation). Artaud does not play as large a role in this essay as I had originally conceived. However, as he provides the t(r)opology through which I've been thinking Heideggerian space I will -- at the risk of vast oversimplification -- lay out certain aspects of Artaud's critique of the "petrified theater" and propositions for a theater of cruelty.

Like Heidegger, Artaud is preoccupied with deconstructing a particularly modern form of representation which Artaud characterizes in his critique of the modern theater. Artaud "contests" a conventional text-based theater in which the action on the stage represents in the conventional sense, that is, stands in for, a text, and where the text, in its turn, represents "real" characters. This chain of representation that connects the play to the "real" world -- to, Artaud suggests, "psychology" and "current events" -- has another link: "With the spectacle on one side and the audience on the other-the masses are not shown anything but the mirror image of what they are."7 This series of representations differ from one another only in degree, or position, with each one anchored by the others, or by the function of mirroring, to an "original" idea of "psychological" man.

Artaud's answer is to rearrange the space of the theater, to do away with the stage, to put the spectators in the middle of the action, to construct space in such a manner that the spectators are as much characters in the drama as the actors, and to light with shadows. Artaud's conceptions of actor, character and spectator explode the conventional meanings of these terms: These theatrical "subjects" whose separation from one another is abolished by the theater of cruelty are imaged as being, contemporaneously, willing entities who can radically transform themselves" and the world around them and "passive and neutral elements."8 "The spectator ... is caught in the theater as if in a whirlwind of higher forces."9 "Our petrified idea of the theater," Artaud writes, "is connected with our petrified idea of a culture without shadows, where, no matter which way it turns, our mind (esprit) encounters only emptiness, though space is full. But the true theater because it moves and makes use of living instruments, continues to stir up shadows where life has never ceased to grope its way."10 The true theater, or the theater of cruelty, which Artaud proposes to "substitute" for the petrified theater, makes use of this "full space." "The problem," Artaud writes, "is to make space speak." The "diffusion of action over an immense space will mean that the lighting effects of a performance will seize the audience as well as the characters...."11 "Theatrically these inversions of form, these displacements of meaning could become the essential element of that poetry of ... space which is the exclusive domain of mise-en-scene."12

If we follow Heidegger's definition of space, there is no such thing as space without boundary and thus space "itself' cannot speak, only particular spaces, or spacings, can speak. Thus, and as Derrida has pointed out, the theater of cruelty has never, and could never, exist as a "real" theatrical production.13 Artaud's absolute rejection of representation coincides with an attempt to erase repetition as well, and to conceive a space without boundary: to, in other words, constitute the theatrical production as an absolute and thus impossible origin. (As we learn from Heidegger, repetition precedes originarity and space and boundary exist in a relation of co-originarity.) However, Artaud's conception of mise-en-scene and, perhaps, its very position at the "limit" of the "problem" of representation provides a kind of extreme case in relation to Heidegger's third diagram, or theatrical space. While the theater of cruelty demands the absolute transformation of man, who is to be stripped of his organs, or organization, on the basis of an absolute origin, Heidegger's theater attempts to constitute a new relation between the past and an as yet unknowable future by diagramming a new version of representational space and putting it up for decision. The third diagram thus occupies the most complex place in these essays because it has both a descriptive and a prescriptive function or perhaps it would be better to say a descriptive and a scriptive function. These reconfigurations of space occur, of course, in or as literature. Artaud's manifestos on the theater of cruelty are, more than anything else, statements on his own poetics. Heidegger's reconfiguration of space also takes this double form of a "theoretical" content performed in writing (i.e. the "accompaniment," in "Origin," of his critique of propositional structure with consistent reversals and shifts from active to passive, subject to object where truth sets itself to work and is set to work, where the artist is the origin of the work and the work the origin of the artist, etc.). The problem, however, is not "properly" "literary" or philosophical or techno-mediatic but rather "improperly" all of them. It is literary in its "improper" or extended sense. Although I hardly want to posit the theater of cruelty as some kind of redemptive possibility, it seems that this (textual) reconfiguration of the space of representation might suggest a kind of ethics based on a vision of history, to use Peggy Kamuf's term, as a "historicity of the future" and on the dynamics of the Heideggerian theater which, to use his own formulation, "let the other be what it is" or "let the other be other."

Heidegger and Artaud both suggest that it is precisely "the inconspicuous," "the undersides, "the "shadows" of what appears in representation that becomes the space for the reconfiguration of space. How and why is it that what erupts in this shadow is a scene? Does the modern form of representation "call" for the reconfiguration of representational space, for the eruption of theatricality? Is the call a call for "an antidote" or for an alter-native figure that will "bring up for decision" an image that points to an always- unknowable future? Can we read in Heidegger's figure both a call to heed the figure, a calls that calls for, more than anything else, a response or a responsibility, and one based on the conception that "truth" is dependent on the very otherness of the other?

Scene 2: From Theory to Theater

In "Science and Reflection," Heidegger analyzes the modern definition of science and scientific knowledge through looking at what he posits as the definition of science: "Science is the theory of the real." "The real," he writes, "in the sense of what is factual, now constitutes the opposite of that which does not stand firm as guaranteed and which is represented as mere appearance or as something that is only believed to be so." 14 Because scientific inquiry only engages that which is already guaranteed (that is the knowableness of things in their ability to be measured) it disregards what is, for Heidegger, essential in the "knowledge" of a thing, that is, the manner in which it presences or becomes visible and, with this, the acknowledgement of the aspects of the thing that -- because of the structure of the open with its relative positioning of entities which determine the conditions of its visibility -- must remain concealed.

The "real" meaning of theory, he suggests, invoking the source of the word in Greek thought, is determined not by what can be known or measured in a "thing" but rather by a lingering with it in its outward appearance, which can be traced, at least in part, to a concept of the theater in which the thing "presences" to those "lingerers": "The word "theory" stems from the Greek word theorein. The noun belonging to it is theoria. The verb theorein grew out of the coalescing of two root words, thea and horao. Thea (cf. theater) is the outward look, the aspect in which something shows itself, the outward appearance in which it offers itself. Plato names this aspect in which what presences shows what it is, eidos. To have seen this aspect, eidenai, is to know. The second root word in theorein, horao, means: to look at something attentively, to look it over, to view it closely. Thus it follows that theorein is thean horan, to look attentively on the outward appearance wherein what presences becomes visible and, through such sight -- seeing -- to linger with it."15

Reflection, Heidegger suggests, must follow this path to the theater.

Scene 3: What is? and the Form of Representation

In "Origin," Heidegger dislocates the "inaugural gesture of philosophy," the question, "what is," that quests after a static essence and asks instead, where and how? He begins the essay by drawing us around in a circle regarding the question of the work's origin:

"Origin here means that from which and by which something is what it is and as it is. What something is, as it is, we call its essence or nature. The origin of something is the source of its nature. The question concerning the origin of the work of art asks about the source of its nature. On the usual view, the work arises out of and by means of the activity of the artist. But by what and whence is the artist what he is? By the work; for to say that the work does credit to the master means that it is the work that first lets the artist emerge as a master of his art. The artist is the origin of the work. The work is the origin of the artist. Neither is without the other. Nevertheless, neither is the sole support of the other. In themselves and in their interrelations artist and work are each of them by virtue of a third thing which is prior to both, namely that which also gives artist and work their names -- art.
As necessarily as the artist is the origin of the work in a different way than the work is the origin of the artist, so it is equally certain that, in a different way, art is the origin of both artist and work. But can art be an origin at all? Where and how does art occur?"16

Heidegger defines essence in what, at first, may not seem to be too surprising a manner. It is "that from and by which something is what it is and as it is." But, rather than discovering a definitive, static eidos in an a-temporal, extra-spatial realm, the essence derives from the thing's -- in this case, the art-work's -- spatio-temporal unfolding. One should not be too quick to say "the art work," however, because Heidegger indicates that this "formulation" applies just as definitely to the artist. "In themselves and in their interrelations artist and work are each of them by a third thing which is prior to both, namely that which also gives artist and work of art their names - art." The "event" of the artwork), its "occurrence" determines the essence or nature of both artist and work. Art "happens" and it is through its "happening" that artist and work find their "natures." As I suggested above, Heidegger's definition of the essence as located in space and time, as spatio- temporal, runs counter to the definition of essence that was inaugurated by Plato and that founds, according to Heidegger, the modern form of representation, that "prepares the way" for its development.

The move I'm making here (in which, I hope, I am following Heidegger) is to link the question "what is" to the modern form of representation which, Heidegger asserts, is based on a relationship between subject and object and which constitutes the world as picture. In order to clarify the particular problem of representation and its relationship to art as Heidegger presents it, I want to take a short detour into the Republic and examine the terms of the problem of art and representation as Plato describes them. It will be recalled that Plato wants to ban poets from his ideal republic ("For if you grant admission to the honeyed muse in lyric and epic, pleasure and pain will be lords of your city instead of law and that which shall from time to time have approved itself to the general reason as the best."17 ). Some forms of poetry are, however, worse than others. Plato counterposes an ideal of "pure narration" in which the poet recites, while maintaining his own persona, voice and perspective to "imitation in voice and gesture" in which the poet changes persona, taking the form of, in the worst case scenarios, women or madmen.18 What Plato appears to object to is the constitution of a second scene. The "good" poet re-presents what has already occurred. The "bad" one introduces a second scene, another event which no longer refers to the first. The poet who imitates thus offends Plato for a number of -- imbricated -- reasons. True knowledge, for Plato, "is the knowledge of that which always is and not of something which at some time comes into being and passes away,"19 the knowledge of an original idea governed by the "true idea of the good."20 The poet, in imitating both creates something at a far remove from the idea and, at the same time, contaminates his own essence by changing form. What I want to indicate in regard to Plato is, firstly, the manner in which in the spatial configuration he describes the unfolding spatio-temporal remains tied to a static "idea" and secondly, the conservatism of this schema, that is, literally, the manner in which it attempts to bind art to a past or an unchanging law, of "that which shall from time to time have approved itself to the general reason as the best." To perhaps overstate the point, time moves but "general reason" and "the best" remain the same.

The modern form of representation as Heidegger discusses it in "Science and Reflection" and in "The Age of the World Picture" derives from the Platonic schema with, Heidegger suggests, a constitutive detour via Descartes. If we can envision representation in the Platonic schema in terms of a subject (although perhaps this term is not really acceptable here) looking at an object and seeing the idea behind it (as in Plato's famous discussion about the couch), the structure of representation changes with the Cartesian cogito when the basis of certainty becomes not the "grounding" idea or essence but the subject itself. We can read the Cartesian structure of representation from the propositional structure of the cogito itself (although, of course, a grammatical analysis would not function in these terms.) In saying "cogito ergo sum" (and here I am following Heidegger and have not returned to Descartes), the subject constitutes itself as both subject and object: "I think" being the subject of the proposition and "I am" the object. The conditions for certainty are then deposited in the thinking subject through a new kind of correspondence, the correspondence of the object to the subject's mental representation, the very constitution/certainty of the now-objective world becoming dependent on the subject's ability to represent. Heidegger consistently calls our attention to the spatial dimensions of this form of representation (Vorstellung) and the ramifications of this configuration:

"To represent means here: of oneself to set something before oneself and to make secure what has been set in place, as something set in place... Representing is no longer the apprehending of that which presences, within whose unconcealment apprehending itself belongs, belongs indeed as a unique kind of presencing toward that which presences that is unconcealed. Representing is no longer a self-unconcealing for but is a laying hold and grasping of-What presences does not hold sway, but rather assault rules ... That which is, is no longer that which presences; it is rather that which, in representing is first set over against, that which stands fixedly over against, which has the character of object ... Representing is making-stand-over-against, an objectifying that goes forward and masters. In this way representing drives everything together into the unity of that which is given the character of object. Representing is coagitatio."21

The modern scene of representation differs from the Platonic one in that here there are two positions or terms that determine the relation (rather than three which, to be more precise, can -- in Plato -- develop into a series, differing merely in degree of difference/distance from the eidos). There is a thinking/representing subject standing "over against" what now takes the character of object. As Heidegger suggests, this "setting in place" is what establishes the conditions for a series of concepts that, for him, characterize the modern "world": mastery, calculability, the systematic, the "world picture" (as well as a series deriving from, or prepared by, the Platonic diagram: identity and self-identity, unity (as opposed to multiplicity), and differences in degree "substituted" for differences in kind (as in the relationship between the thing and its pictorial representation)). It changes the type of essence that the question what is searches for, but does not change the question. The essence of a thing now lies, according to Heidegger, in what can be measured and calculated by science. "In the coagitatio, representing gathers all that is objective into the 'all-together' of representedness,"22 and it is this "all-together" which allows for/constitute the calculability of things -- which are not viewed each in its own "presencing," but rather as part of the system constituted by the "all together" and in relation/comparison both to each other and to various systems of measurement. In other words, the form of representation constitutes the thing as it appears and when the question "what is" is posed by science, the "answer" is pre-determined by the form of representation. According to Heidegger, what appears to scientific inquiry does not (and cannot) encompass what the thing is "in its unconcealment" but rather can only describe it in the terms pre-established by representation.

Scene 4: From Shadow to Scene

You may have noticed that in the quotation above, Heidegger introduces the third diagram. If the first one I described is the Platonic and the second the Cartesian-Modem, the third is the Pre-Socratic Heideggerian. This scene occupies an essential and complicated position throughout Heidegger's essays and is, precisely, the site at which Heidegger reconfigures the question "what is it" into his essential question -- through which he discusses the production of truth, the task of reflection and the activity of the art work -- where and how does it occur. Before I confront this scene and its question, however, I want to position it, to light the space in which it is posed. Heidegger's shift from "what is it" to "where and how does it occur" does not occur in a vacuum, so to speak, but rather in the shadow of the world picture. Heidegger introduces the shadow in the context of a discussion of "the gigantic" which he characterizes, with the "increasingly small," as the particular quality of "our" historical age:

"... as soon as the gigantic in planning and calculating and adjusting and making secure shifts out of the quantitative and becomes a special quality, then what is gigantic, and what can seemingly always be calculated completely, becomes precisely this, incalculable. This becoming incalculable remains the invisible shadow that is cast around all things everywhere when man has been transformed into subiectum and the world into picture.

By means of this shadow the modern world extends itself out into a space withdrawn from representation, and so lends to the incalculable the determinateness peculiar to it, as well as a historical uniqueness."23

What I want to draw out of Heidegger's formulation is the structure, or scene, of the "shadow" where differences in degree produce differences in kind. We can read here an intimation of what Heidegger sees as the limitations of a scientific-modern form of representation. If calculation and calculability can be seen as an essential characteristic of the modern-scientific world view ("our present day world is completely dominated by the desire to know of modern science" 24) then what "withdraws" from calculating-representation is what cannot be calculated, i.e., the immeasurable aspect of the "thing." But neither is this "immeasurable" or "incalculable" an absolute or essential (defined in the conventional sense) quality. It arises as an effect of calculability. It is what happens. occurs, comes to pass -- with an emphasis on the temporal aspect of these formulations -- when the numbers get too big ... And lest we are too quick to read the shadow "dialectically," Heidegger (in what seems to be a reaction against his contemporaries of the Frankfurt School), rejects this approach and points to another:

"By means of this shadow the modern world extends itself out into a space withdrawn from representation, and so lends to the incalculable the determinateness peculiar to it, as well as a historical uniqueness. This shadow, however, points to something else, which it is denied to us of today to know. But man will never be able to experience and ponder this that is denied so long as he dawdles about in the mere negating of the age. The flight into tradition, out of a combination of humility and presumption, can bring about nothing in itself other than self-deception and blindness in relation to the historical moment.

Man will know, i.e., carefully safeguard into its truth, that which is incalculable, only in creative questioning and shaping out of the power of genuine reflection. Reflection transports the man of the future into that "between" in which he belongs to Being but remains a stranger amid that which is."25

The image of the shadow, and, of course, shadows "themselves" are always "determinate," their shape informed by both the figures from which they are cast and the particular lighting which casts them (and it is essential to keep in mind that the "figure" the "scene" (site, stage) and the "lighting" are -- all three -- "radically" historical). (The scene of the shadow brings us back to the formulations introduced in the encounter of the first scene, above.)

The shadow, Heidegger suggests, "extends itself out into a space withdrawn from representation." It introduces the possibility for another "figure" of space into the modern figure of representation which functions without shadows, through a spatial configuration which posits the mastering gaze of the subject stretched across empty space to the "objective." To return to Artaud's figures: "Our petrified idea of the theater is connected with our petrified idea of a culture without shadows, where, no matter which way it turns, our mind (esprit) encounters only emptiness though space is full. But the true theater, because it moves and makes use of living instruments, continues to stir up shadows where life has never ceased to grope its way."26 Artaud proposes to use the shadows of the modern scene of representation to transform the theater and thus to transform "a culture" that, positioning spectators across an empty space from the spectacle, binds both into a static, or merely oscillatory, relation. "Stir[ring] up shadows," Artaud suggests, will un- bind the static oscillation that keeps both spectators and spectacles in their predetermined positions. And, as I suggested above, this reconfiguration of space has everything to do with Artaud's attempt to transform the "subject" who, released from its particular positionality, becomes something else altogether. Heidegger also sees a kind of theater as an answer to the spatial bind of modern-scientific inquiry which only asks questions the terms of whose answers are established in advance. The real question, he suggests, the one which will point the way to the "men of the future" is asked in the space of the shadow.

It's interesting to note, in this regard, that in English, the word shadow and the word scene share the same root. Eric Partridge's etymology has an uncannily Heideggerian ring to it: the word scene derives from the Latin scena which derives from the Greek skene, a covered place (e.g. a tent), hence a stage, hence a scene thereon, hence a scene in general. The Greek word derives from the Sanskrit, "chaya, brilliance lustre, but also," Partridge tells us, "by that perversity that characterizes language, shade, a shadow...."27 It seems that in the word scene we have the connotations of both a lighting and a shading, a brightness and a shadow.

Scene 5: The Event

Perhaps the "dilemma" of visibility presented in the shadow-scene points the way toward the necessity of a certain wariness in reading Heidegger's formulation of the third diagram as the theatrical space of art After all, Heidegger tells us that "What art may be is one of the questions to which no answers are given in the essay. What gives the impression of such an answer are directions for questioning."28 And, further, that "The foregoing reflections are concerned with the riddle of art, the riddle that art itself is. They are far from claiming to solve the riddle. The task is to see the riddle."29 What is the "task" that the riddle imposes on "me" as a reader of Heidegger? If art is not what Heidegger says it is, then what is the "status" of Heidegger's own text? It seems that we have to read philosophy or, at least, Heidegger's philosophy, as Heidegger "reads" the work of art, as a production, event, happening which does not reproduce a pre-existent truth, but opens up a possibility for/the possibility of the future:

"Art then is the becoming and happening of truth. Does truth, then, arise out of nothing? It does indeed if by nothing is meant the mere not of that which is, and if we here think of that which is as an object present in the ordinary way, which thereafter comes to light and is challenged by the existence of the work as only presumptively a true being. Truth is never gathered from objects that are present and ordinary. Rather, the opening up of the Open, and the clearing of what is, happens only as the openness is projected, sketched out, that makes its advent in thrownness."30

Art, as the happening of truth, "becomes" from projection and through thrownness, from a particular set of possibilities of being determined by the historical Being of an age and then handed over to human being, to its own responsibility. Which of these possibilities will be realized? Which manifested in the art work or in "creative questioning"? Out of the almost (but not) infinite possibilities of the virtual (possibilities of an age), which will be actualized in the "figure" of the work? And what will happen when they, these figures, are "brought up for decision"? In what manner will these decisions move history, and the "men of the future," into the future?

I hope that this set of questions begins to bring out (if I have not already done so) the reasons for the sections of this essay, above, which detail (fragments of) Heidegger's critique of historical forms of representation. The third diagram, as I have suggested, plays the first two. Truth does arise out of nothing, Heidegger suggests above, if we mean by nothing "the mere not of that which is, and if we here think of that which is as an object present in the ordinary way, which thereafter comes to light and is challenged by the existence of the work as only presumptively a true being." That which is, is determined by a particular regime of representation; the "mere not," as Heidegger advises us in "World Picture," is not the negative of what is but rather its shadow or, to extend this further, the hidden conditions of a thing's appearance which allow it to appear as it does. This shadow contains" (a part of) the virtual possibilities to be realized in the figure, the work, the philosophical presentation (Darstellung) or fictioning. But the "setting forth of the figure" is not a tracing of the shadow's contours but rather takes place in the drama of the Open. The shadow, in other words, is only one actant in the drama.31 And the stage is constructed, shaped, by the overlapping and intersecting shadows of all of them. (But here is where we contact the "fiction" of Heidegger's "philosophy," the place where the figurings of artwork and reflection meet in the modality ascribed to them by Heidegger.)

The very doubleness of the meaning of the Open establishes Heidegger's problematic -- and its point of convergence with Artaud's. It links temporality to spatiality. The open is both an opening up of being to the future, to an always new beginning, and an opening up of a space in which a future can happen: it is the space of the coming-to-pass. It confronts "a question of time and of an alteration in its relation to space,"32 or, a question of space and of an alternation in its relation to time. If the conservative (in the literal sense) forces of culture are often thought in terms of architectural structures (i.e. Bataille's "anti-architectural" stance and his critique of monumentality, Foucault's asylums and Panopticon), both Heidegger's Open and theater of the artwork and Artaud's theater of cruelty posit a kind of potentially transformative space not bound to the past but bounding into the future. The difference between Artaud and Heidegger is that Artaud, in wanting "to make space speak" wants to constitute the impossible originary event. There is no "space" per se, only particular spaces. Heidegger makes these spaces speak: The space of the Platonic diagram speaks the conservative force of the eidos as guarantor of truth, the Cartesian-Modern the assault of scientific "correctness" on the objective world; Heidegger responds with his theater...

In "Origin," Heidegger begins to look for the work's origin in the "thing" but ultimately questions whether the work is, in fact, a thing at all. The essay turns around this first inquiry, staged in the terms of a scientific procedure which seeks the nature of something by first determining its "thingly substructure." Heidegger, however, critiques and reconfigures the question that is asked by scientific inquiry and posed in (terms of) the space of the modern diagram. Towards the end of the essay he writes:

"We can now return to our opening question: how do matters stand with the work's thingly feature that is to guarantee its immediate reality? They stand so that now we no longer raise this question about the work's thingly element; for as long as we ask it, we take the work directly and as a foregone conclusion, as an object that is simply there. In that way we never question in terms of the work, but in our own terms. In our terms--we, who then do not let the work be a work but view it as an object that is supposed to produce this or that state of mind in us."33

Heidegger's analysis of what a work, in fact, is depends upon "let[ting] the work be a work." Rather than asking a question the terms of whose answer are established in advance, Heidegger waits for the work itself to speak. The work becomes an actant in an unfolding drama. Of the famous, or infamous, Van Gogh painting, Heidegger writes, "This painting spoke. In the vicinity of the work we were suddenly somewhere else than we usually tend to be." The work -- if we respond to its call -- transports us into the theater of truth.

I want to trace the transposition of Heidegger's "we" in the two quotations of his text above. First, there appears the "we" of "In our terms--we, who then do not let the work be a work but view it as an object that is supposed to produce this or that frame of mind in us"; then appears the "we," transported: "In the vicinity of the work we were suddenly somewhere else than we usually tend to be." This movement of the "we" draws me, or us, into the heart of Heidegger's conception of space, which he develops most fully (as far as I know) in "Building, Dwelling, Thinking." We might relate the first "we" to this assertion:

"We do not represent distant things merely in our mind--as the text books have it-- so that only mental representations of distant things run through our minds and heads as substitutes for the things."34

In this quotation, Heidegger refers to the same problem as he does with the first "we": the thing, when viewed in "our own terms" -- and here Heidegger refers to the pre-existent ground of modern-scientific inquiry which asks for the work's thingly element -- "produces this or that state of mind" or a "mental representation." This modality of inquiry maintains us in the oscillatory relationship between subject and object that characterizes the Cartesian-Modern diagram, where the mental representation is the guarantor of the objectivity of the thing. As I discussed above, in reference to both Heidegger and Artaud, it is precisely this relative positioning, and its oscillation, which guarantees -- or maintains -- the subjectivity of the subject as well as the objectivity of the object.

Let me now present a more complete version of Heidegger's formulation:

"Even when we relate ourselves to those things that are not in our immediate reach, we are staying with the things themselves. We do not represent distant things merely in our mind--as the text books have it--so that only mental representations of distant things run through our minds and heads as substitutes for the things. If all of us now think, from where we are right here, of the old bridge in Heidelberg, this thinking toward that location is not a mere experience inside the persons present here; rather, it belongs to the nature of our thinking of that bridge that in itself thinking gets through, persists through, the distance to that location. From this spot right here, we are there at the bridge--we are by no means at some representational content in our consciousness. From right here we may even be much nearer to that bridge and to what it makes room for than someone who uses it daily as an indifferent river crossing."35

In this passage, Heidegger contrasts the two "we"s we encountered first in "Origin," the "we" of representational thinking and the "we" "transported into the vicinity of the work." If we do not think in the spatial confines of the modern regime of representation, we move outside of mental representation, quite literally; we think outside of our "minds and heads" and at the place of the thing thought. But this formulation does not "solve" but rather just begins the problem of the "we." Because "who we are" is not determined in advance. "We" as pre-constituted entities or, as Heidegger adds "encapsulated bodies," do not just jump around, promiscuously, thinking from thing to thing. The thinking at the thing rather constitutes the "we" who are thinking.

But this last statement may demand some further explication. Heidegger writes, "To say that mortals are is to say that in dwelling they persist through spaces by virtue of their stay among things and locations,"36 and "Dwelling ... is the basic character of Being in keeping with which mortals exist."37 Beings (beings) are, Heidegger suggests, through their dwelling -- or persisting -- in particular spaces. If Being can be defined as the particular character of an age which allows beings to appear as they do, then dwelling also, as Heidegger makes clear in this essay, has this historical character: "Our reference to the Black Forest farm in no way means that we should or could go back to building such houses; rather, it illustrates by a dwelling that has been how it was able to build."38 "The real dwelling plight lies in this, that mortals ever search anew for the nature of dwelling, that they must ever learn to dwell."39 Thus, the historical character of both Being and being always tends toward the future, is always becoming. The particular manner of this becoming of B/being is dependent upon the building of particular buildings, the creation of particular spaces. If we think at the place of the bridge, if to think is to dwell at a particular site, the very particularity of our thinking, and of "who we are," is determined by the thought generated in this dwelling. But whatever transformation the transposition effects always occurs against the background of Being. The manner in which we think at the bridge is determined first by the Being that allows the bridge to appear as it does, but this Being is always transformed by the site-specific thinking which, as I will discuss below, may bring a particular figure up for the decision of "historical humanity."

To leap back now, into the vicinity of the work, I think we can see how Heidegger's conception of the artwork will tie into this issue of the "we." The work turns out to be a kind of entity in that it is not inactive as is a "mere thing" or object, but rather actively creates a site at which a drama can unfold:

"The temple, in its standing there, first gives to things their look and their outlook on themselves. This view remains open so long as the work is a work, as long as the god has not fled from it. It is the same with the sculpture of the god, votive offering of the victor in the athletic games. It is not a portrait whose purpose is to make it easier to realize how the god looks; rather it is a work that lets the god be present and thus is the god himself. The same holds for the linguistic work. In the tragedy nothing is staged or displayed theatrically, but the battle of the new gods against the old is being fought. The linguistic work, originating in the speech of the people, does not refer to this battle; it transforms the people's saying so that now every living word fights the battle and puts up for decision what is holy and unholy, what great and what small, what brave and what cowardly, what lofty and what flighty, what master and what slave."40

Heidegger uses the image of the temple precisely because architecture can not, he suggests, be viewed as representational, as a thing which stands in for something else. The temple, rather, creates its surrounding landscape, unifies it into what might be called a landscape by creating a location and a site, by creating a space in which "nothing is staged or displayed theatrically, but the battle of the new gods against the old is being fought." As in Artaud's theater of cruelty, the "theater" is no longer a place of "display" where the action lion stage" refers to a battle fought elsewhere, but rather the artwork establishes -- or opens -- the space where the battle itself is fought.

I'm going to reproduce a rather long section of the essay in which Heidegger characterizes this space, the "theatrical" site:

"Where does a work belong? The work belongs, as work, uniquely within the realm which is opened up by itself..
A building, a Greek temple, portrays nothing. It simply stands there in the middle of the rock-cleft valley. The building encloses the figure of the god, and in this concealment lets it stand out into the holy precinct through the open portico. By means of the temple, the god is present in the temple. This presence of the god is in itself the extension and delimitation of the precinct as a holy precinct. The temple and its precinct, however, do not fade away into the indefinite. It is the temple work that fits together and at the same time gathers around itself the unity of those paths and relations in which birth and death. disaster and blessing, victory and disgrace, endurance and decline acquire the shape of destiny for human being. The all-governing expanse of this open relational context is the world of this historical people. Only from and in this expanse does the nation first return to itself for the fulfillment of its vocation."41

"Standing there, the building rests on the rocky ground. This resting of the work draws up out of the rock the mystery of that rock's clumsy yet spontaneous support. Standing there, the building holds its ground against the storm raging above it and so first makes the storm itself manifest in its violence. The luster and gleam of the stone, though itself apparently glowing only by the grace of the sun, yet first brings to light the light of the day, the breadth of the sky, the darkness of the night. The temple's firm towering makes visible the invisible space of air. The steadfastness of the work contrasts with the surge of the surf, and its own repose brings out the raging of the sea. Tree and grass, eagle and bull, snake and cricket first enter into their distinctive shapes and thus come to appear as what they are....
The temple-work, standing there, opens up a world...."42

No thing can come to appear outside of its place. Appearance is governed by site and positioning. No thing can be seen -- or come to appear -- out of this "context." In Heidegger's theater of cruelty, as in Artaud's, a metaphysics of sight gives way to a physics of site. Vision -- and appearance -- only occur in their place. There is always place, but this is not to be confused with "everything in its place." The place -- space --is always changing. In the theater of the temple where the battle is fought, the new gods vanquish the old and a new temple is erected in its place, changing the configurations of the landscape. If we follow Heidegger, at the site of the "new temple" which we can't designate in advance as temple, hence: at the unknown site of the future, we have to ask if and how what we now know as "cricket" and "snake" will come to appear. And, further, to ask how "we" will come to appear.

The idea of a theater, you might want to object, is conventionally conceived not only in terms of a text, a play, and of spectators' relationship to a staged spectacle, but rather also in terms of the static placement of the theater, of a theater as an edifice. Even Artaud, whose theater of cruelty seeks to bring about the most radical transformations of man -- who is to be stripped of his organs, dis- and re-organized, so to speak -- still (or, at least, at many moments in his work) speaks of a theater as a place, always the same place, into which actors and spectators enter and stand. Heidegger's theater of cruelty does not occur always in the same place, in this sense, but, on the contrary, always occurs at a different site, and at a site unknowable in advance. To conceive Heidegger's reconfiguration of representational space as a theater then demands that we push this concept one step further than Artaud has done.43 To perhaps overstate the point here, Heidegger's theater of cruelty always exists at a site, but never at the same site. Heidegger himself affirms this:

"...the open space in the midst of beings, the clearing, is never a rigid stage on which the play of beings runs its course.... The unconcealedness of beings ... is never a merely existent state but a happening."44

The manner in which the art work's production of truth gives rise to this t(r)opology of the theater is in the conception of the theatrical production as a happening, or event, one that is "produced" by a number of actants, and one that, perhaps most important, "produces" truth through the "substitution" of site for sight, producing an "open context of relations," opening both spatiality (as constituted through various regimes of representation) and temporality: the opening of space as a new beginning, a new beginning as an opening of space...

Heidegger's thinking releases the work from its objectivity as constituted by the modern-scientific world view and from its bind to an a-temporal eidos. In the discussion of Plato, above, I pointed out Plato's abhorrence of the artist's, or mimetician's, second scene as a departure from "pure narration"'s proximity to truth. For Heidegger, truth is produced in/as a second scene -- and as a second scene not preceded by a first: "It is not a portrait whose purpose it is to make it easier to realize how the god looks; rather it is a work that lets the god be present and thus is the god himself."45 The essence of the work (as discussed in scene 3) is determined by the where and how of its appearance rather than by its correspondence to an original. But, as I suggested above, the work only appears at and as a particular site which unites a number of actants. The work is always an event. Without its relationship to preservers and to its putting something up for decision, it is not a work. It is performative not just in the sense that certain of its aspects exceed the constative -- or representation -- but in that its status as work is dependent on its constitution of, and its performance at, the theatrical site. (I want to recall here the structure of co-originarity that Heidegger ascribes to the work as "entity" and as "site" -- and to all of the actants in its production of truth. "Where does a work belong? The work belongs, as work, uniquely within the realm which is opened up by itself.")

Finally, I come to the actants in the unfolding production of the work and of truth, gathered together by the work's creation of the site:

"The establishing of truth in the work is the bringing forth of a being such as never was before and never will be again...
Truth establishes itself in the work. Truth is present only as the conflict between lighting and concealing in the opposition of world and earth. Truth wills to be established in the work as this conflict of world and earth. The conflict is not to be resolved in a being brought forth for the purpose, nor is it to be merely housed there; the conflict, on the contrary, is started by it. This being must therefore contain within itself the essential traits of the conflict. In the strife the unity of world and earth is won. As a world opens itself, it submits to an historical humanity the question of victory and defeat, blessing and curse, mastery and slavery. The dawning world brings out what is as yet undecided and measureless, and thus discloses the hidden necessity of measure and decisiveness."46

Lighting and Concealing. We are called upon to think of these not as background or auxiliary effects but as actants in the production of truth. What comes to appear depends upon the conditions they create. Falling over the stage, light casts shadows. Concealing is tricky; it does just not conceal in the sense of "not reveal," but also conceals through dissimulation or "double concealing." "Truth is untruths insofar as there belongs to it the reservoir of the not-yet-uncovered, the un-uncovered, in the sense of concealment." 47 The truth produced by the work is what appears to the characters and preservers -- but what appears depends upon a certain amount of dissimulation, un-uncovering. The truth of the mise-en-scene is as much produced by concealing as by lighting, or unconcealing. "The nature of truth, that is, of unconcealedness, is dominated throughout by a denial. Yet this denial is not a defect or a fault, as though truth were an unalloyed unconcealedness that has rid itself of everything concealed. If truth could accomplish this, it would no longer be itself. The denial, in the form of a double concealment, belongs to the nature of truth as unconcealedness."48 Lighting and concealment then determine, at least in part, the essence of a thing insofar as they work to determine how it will appear. Truth is not governed by identity -- or essence in the conventional sense -- but by a constant process of simulation and dissimulation, by the always-"artificial" effect of the theatrical production.

Earth. The Greek phusis. "What this word says is not to be associated with the idea of a mass of matter deposited somewhere, or with the merely astronomical idea of a planet."49 Earth, also, is an active character in the drama. Phusis is "the being that grows out of its own accord."50 It is an active force that acts without man's intervention. Techne, or technites, is not the opposite of phusis but rather "imitates" it -- not at all in the sense of reproducing it as object -- but rather in its active process of emergence, growth, happening, production. The earth is concealing in the sense that it is self-closing. No "lighting" can unconceal it completely; it "resists" the processes of world... Like the other actants, earth does not possess its own, absolute "truth" but participates in the production of truth as unconcealment and appearance. It only appears in its opposition with world.

World. "The world is not the mere collection of the countable or uncountable, familiar or unfamiliar things that are just there. But neither is it a merely imagined framework added by our representation to the sum of such given things. The world worlds, and is more fully in being than the tangible and perceptible realm in which we feel ourselves to be at home."51 The world, which is always becoming, is neither that which exists, or that which we perceive to exist; it is rather the constant process through which the "ever-nonobjective" sphere within which we live changes through its constant conflict with earth and through the productions of truth (i.e. artworks or "creative questioning") which bring the becoming-world up for decision. The world, as the "old" world is thus an actant in the unfolding drama of truth; the work also is a world, a present or presencing world, and opens up the possibility for a new world. The work, by opening the open, draws its preservers into a relation not determined by its link to a predetermined ground, but through its particular installation: "A work, by being a work, makes space for that spaciousness. 'To make space for' means here especially to liberate the Open and establish it in its structure. This in-stalling occurs through the erecting mentioned earlier. The work as work sets up a world. The work holds open the Open of the world."52

Rift. The stroke or rending by which a world worlds, opening both the "old" world and the self-concealing earth to the possibility of a new world. As well as being this stroke, the rift is the site -- the furrow or crack -- created by the stroke. As the "rift design" it is the particular characteristics or traits of this furrow.

Figure. "The strife that is brought into the rift and thus set back into the earth as figure, shape, gestalt. Createdness of the work means: truth's being fixed in place in the figure ... What is here called figure, Gestalt, is always to be thought in terms of the particular placing (Stellen) and framing or framework (Ge-stell) as which the work occurs when it sets itself up and sets itself forth." 53

Creator. The createdness of the work, as Heidegger suggests above, is related to the figure. The role of the creator is not to make something out of nothing, but rather to set the figure of the rift forth. This figure, however, is not a representation of a pre-existing design (or rift-design) but is created in its setting forth. It both "describes" -- or is produced out of -- the conflict between world and earth figured in the rift and, through its framing, produces a new entity. The creator makes the site of the rift into the site of a theater. The world constituted by the artwork-as-theater then sets itself back into the earth and the rift, reconfiguring them, opening up a new world and a new conflict.

Preservers. "Just as a work cannot be without being created but is essentially in need of creators, so what is created cannot itself come into being without preservers."54 "To submit to the displacement effected by the work means: to transform our accustomed ties to world and to earth and henceforth to restrain all usual doing and prizing, knowing and looking, in order to stay within the truth that is happening in the work. Only the restraint of this staying lets what is created be the work that it is. This letting the work be a work we call the preserving of the work. It is only for such preserving that the work yields itself in its createdness as actual, i.e., now. present in the manner of a work."55 The work, then, cannot exist as a work without preservers. Without preservers it remains non-actual: an unrealized virtuality or potential. The act of preservation entails a response -- a listening to, or lingering with, the appearance of the work -- and a decision. Preservers do not regard the work voyeuristically, but are necessary, as actants, to the work as a production of truth. They participate from within the drama of the work, in what Heidegger calls the "standing-within of preservation," rather than from outside of the work.

Decision. "The ... work ... puts up for decision what is holy and unholy, what great and what small, what brave and what cowardly, what lofty and what flighty, what master and what slave."56 "The dawning world brings out what is as yet undecided, and thus discloses the hidden necessity of measure and decisiveness."57 The work, Heidegger suggests, calls on us for a decision about what is to be done, and about who we, in the vicinity of the work, are. "We" always make the decision without knowing its outcome in advance and this decision effects the becoming of B/being and history. In light of Heidegger's radical reconception of who "we" are, we might ask who it is that makes this decision. We can safely say that it is not subjects who decide, but rather whoever it is that we are, and will become, in the theater of the work.

* * * *

Although, for Heidegger, the problematic of representation is, in its extended sense, one of temporality or the relationship of the past to the possibilities of an unknowable future, he sets up issues of representation in terms of their spatial arrangements, their configurations because, I'd like to suggest, it is space which is generally seen to bind the present and future to the past through "conservative" regimes of representation or, more concretely, through the confines of monumental and institutional architectures. It seems then that the problem that faced Heidegger (and Artaud) was how to conceive of a transformative space, and how to figure it, how to Open space to the future and how to figure, to sketch, a space that is, in fact, unfigurable in the sense that it is unknowable in advance. Heidegger develops this sketch, what I have been calling the third diagram, by releasing the art work from the pre-established grounds constituted first by the Idea and secondly by science's assumption of universal calculability. Where you are positioned determines what you see and thus, for Heidegger, site comes to replace sight in what is now a production, rather than a reproduction, of truth. But, as I suggested above, Heidegger is very careful to position this sketch as projective rather than as a diagram of what is.

Heidegger's theatrical space presents a particular kind of alternative, or alterity, to conventional modes of representation. It "returns" the "repressed" gaze of the other -- so that the other returns the gaze. Or, perhaps better, it returns the repressed gaze of otherness -- whether this "otherness" refers to what is now (that is, in modernity and for science) the object of the representing subject, or the otherness of the artwork which differs in kind (rather than degree) from what it represents, or the otherness of the future whose openness and unknowability is acknowledged in the active role of decision in the production of truth in the work. The opening of space to the future, to potential transformation, revolves -- says the theatrical diagram -- around a particular vision of the future which Heidegger puts up for decision. From the shadow of the world picture Heidegger draws the scene of its other, where the other becomes incalculable, the object in terms of measure, the copy in terms of "distance" from an "original," the future in terms of the past. In this scene, truth is the truth of the theater, of always shadowy appearances, of entities never identical to a previous "self", of the vision and decision of spectators always on, or in, the scene. Truth is always in the relation to an other (of an other to an other).

I'm not sure what a building, or an "ethics," built from the third diagram would look like, except that it would not look, or function, like a Panopticon which makes a knowable subject into a calculable object. But, of course, Heidegger does not prescribe a particular space, a particular edifice, but rather presents the space of his own text, bringing it up for decision. Here, "we" exist -- or persist -- where the world, in its intransitivity, worlds, where we are always in-between the subject and object of what we might not want to call a proposition, and in the space of questions posed always to be posed again.

Act II. Scene 1....


1 Martin Heidegger, "Science and Reflection," in _The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays_, translated by William Lovitt (New York: Harper & Row, 1977), p. 176.back

2 Antonin Artaud, "The Theater of Cruelty (Second Manifesto)," in _The Theater and its Double_, translated by Mary Caroline Richards (New York: Grove Press, 1979), p. 124. back

3 Jacques Derrida, "Before the Law," translated by Avital Ronell and Christine Roulston, in _Acts of Literature_, edited by Derek Attridge (New York and London: Routledge, 1992), p. 216. back

4 Martin Heidegger, "The Origin of the Work of Art," in _Poetry, Language, Thought_, translated by Albert Hofstadter (New York: Harper & Row, 1975), pp. 62-3. back

5 Derrida, "Before the Law," p. 216. back

6 Heidegger, "Building, Dwelling, Thinking," in _Poetry, Language, Thought_ p. 154. back

7 Artaud, "An End to Masterpieces," in _Antonin Artaud: Selected Writings_, translated by Helen Weaver, edited by Susan Sontag (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1988), p. 254. back

8 Artaud, "The Theater of Cruelty (First Manifesto)," in _Selected Writings_, p. 250. back

9 Artaud, "An End to Masterpieces," p. 259. back

10 Artaud, "Preface: The Theater and Culture," in _The Theater and its Double_, p. 12. back

11 Artaud, "The Theater of Cruelty (First Manifesto)," p. 249. back

12 Artaud, "Mise en Scene and Metaphysics," in _Selected Writings_, p. 236. back

13 Cf. Derrida, "The Theater of Cruelty and the Closure of Representation," in _Writing and Difference_, translated by Alan Bass (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978), pp. 232-250.back

14 Heidegger, "Science and Reflection," in _The Question Concerning Technology_, p.162.back

15 Ibid., 164.back

16 Heidegger, "Origin," p. 17.back

17 Plato, "Republic," translated by Paul Shorey, in _Plato: The Collected Dialogues_, edited by Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982), p. 832.back

18 Ibid., 642.back

19 Ibid., 759.back

20 Ibid., 766.back

21 Heidegger, "The Age of the World Picture," in _The Question Concerning Technology_, pp. 149-50.back

22 Ibid., 152.back

23 Ibid., 136.back

24 Heidegger, "Science and Reflection," p. 157.back

25 Heidegger, "World Picture," p. 136.back

26 Artaud, "Preface," p. 12.back

27 Eric Partridge, _Origins: A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English_ (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1966), pp. 592-3.back

28 Heidegger, "Origin," p. 86.back

29 Ibid., 79.back

30 Ibid., 71.back

31 I will be using the term "actant" to describe the "characters" involved in the production of the art work. Although this term may be less "theatrical" than character or actor, it allows me to avoid the personification implicit in the word "character" and the very un-Heideggerian sense of individual agency that the term "actor" connotes.back

32 Samuel Weber, "Mediauras," p. 5.back

33 Heidegger, "Origin," p. 69.back

34 Heidegger, "Building," p. 156.back

35 Ibid., p. 156- 7.back

36 Ibid., p. 157.back

37 Ibid., p. 160.back

38 Ibid..back

39 Ibid., p. 161.back

40 Heidegger, "Origin," p. 43.back

41 This line of Heidegger's essay, invoking the notion of "national vocation" is, of course, incredibly troubling particularly, but not even solely, because of his engagement with Nazism. While a discussion of Heidegger's involvement with National Socialism falls outside the scope of this essay, I want to note that it is something that I feel must be interrogated.back

42 Ibid., pp. 41-2.back

43 Artaud's discussions of theatrical site are, not surprisingly, quite inconsistent. This may not be a fair, and is certainly not a full, characterization of his writings on the subject.back

44 Heidegger, "Origin," p. 54.back

45 Ibid., 43.back

46 Ibid., pp. 62-3.back

47 Ibid., p. 60.back

48 Ibid., p. 54.back

49 Ibid., p. 54.back

50 Ibid., p. 59.back

51 Ibid., P. 44.back

52 Ibid., p. 45.back

53 Ibid., p. 64.back

54 Ibid., p. 66.back

55 Ibid..back

56 Ibid., p. 43.back

57 Ibid., pp. 62-3.back