November 15, 2011

Heidegger on Creative Action, Art and Melancholy

The quotes are from separate bodies of text (read: they do not follow one after the other), but they create an interesting context when placed side by side. Hopefully one not too manufactured. What to conclude from Heidegger's supposed necessary melancholy mood for creative action, and the nature of art - the common byproduct of said creative action?

In particular, how he believed art to ground history by allowing "truth to spring forth", so humanity can connect implicitly with what is and what matters. 

“Freedom is only to be found where there is burden to be shouldered. In creative achievements this burden always represents an imperative and a need that weighs heavily upon man’s mood, so that he comes to be in a mood of melancholy. All creative action resides in a mood of melancholy, whether we are clearly aware of the fact or not, whether we speak at length about it or not. All creative action resides in a mood of melancholy, but this is not to say that everyone in a melancholy mood is creative.”

“In the work of art the truth of an entity has set itself to work. ‘To set’ means here: to bring to a stand. Some particular entity, a pair of peasant shoes, comes in the work to stand in the light of its being. The being of the being comes into the steadiness of its shining. The nature of art would then be this: the truth of being setting itself to work.”

Martin Heidegger