During a meeting in Hütte in Todtnauberg on 25 July 1967, the poet Paul Celan and the thinker Martin Heidegger hatched a conspiracy of silence in their 'Muttersprache'. The background for it was the experience of Holocaust, and its important expression - Celan's (un)poetical 'Todesfuge' (Fugue of Death) from 1944. 'Fugue of Death' is however not a metaphor of Holocaust but a language saved from it. This language does not assume a simple contradiction of speech and silence. This contradiction breaks down in Auschwitz. It creates a rift in which the speech is not not-silence, and silence - only not-speech. The logos in the antropo- and theological realm breaks down. The coming out of the 'abysmal', redeeming of words is supposed to come into being through an attempt of silence, such as the one created between Celan and Heidegger, in making the non-speech of the witness of the Holocaust sanctified.
Cezary Wodzinski, Instytut Filozofii i Socjologii PAN, yl. Nowy Swiat 72, 00-330 Warszawa, Poland
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