Continental Philosophy Review

, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 189–212 | Cite as

The world and image of poetic language: Heidegger and Blanchot

  • Jennifer Gosetti-FerenceiEmail author


This essay engages ways in which the manifestation of ‘world’ occurs in poetry specifically through images, and how we can conceive of the imagination in this regard without reducing the imagination to a mimetic faculty of consciousness subordinate to cognition. Continental thought in the last century offers rich resources for this study. The notion of a ‘world’ is related to the poetic image in ways fundamental to the Heidegger’s theory of language, and may be seen in Continental poetics following Heidegger, including Blanchot’s examination of poetry in his account of the space of literature. By means of images, I shall demonstrate, poetic language is exemplary in relation to ‘world’ in two ways. (1) Images, poetically arranged, generate and open up a sense or experience of a world, specific to that poem, for its reader. Poetic images then, exhibit a generative evocation of world. (2) Through images, a poem may evoke the way in which space and time are inhabited as a world of human dwelling in an ontologically or existentially meaningful way. The relation of images to world is, then, an illumination or a disclosure of world. The first of these relations remains, to a large extent, immanent to the poem, but may be seen as an analogue of the essentially human experience of inhabiting a world. The second relation transcends the poem and relates the poem immediately to the existential framework of human dwelling.


Heidegger Poetry World Language Blanchot 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyFordham UniversityNew YorkUSA

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