Greek Interpretation of Human Beings [72-73]

homely. Therein lies the historicality of human beings. Historicality is the distinctive mark of that humankind whose poets are Sophocles and Hölderlin—for something having the character of a commencement once occurred [hat sich ereignet] in the Greek world, and that which has the character of a commencement alone grounds history. The resonance of the first stationary song from Sophocles' Antigone tragedy in Hölderlin's hymnal poetizing is a historical-poetic necessity within that history in which the being at home and being unhomely of Western humankind is decided. Cf. Hölderlin, The Death of Empedocles, first version, act one, scene one (III. 79):

... Wir haben auch
An grossen Männern unsre Lust, und Einer
Ist izt die Sonne der Athenerinnen.
Sophokles! dem von allen Sterblichen
Zuerst der Jungfraun herrlichste Natur
Erschien und sich zu reinem Angedenken
In seine Seele gab.———
——— jede wünscht sich, ein Gedanke
Des Herrlichen zu seyn, und möchte gem
Die immerschöne Jugend, eh' sie welkt,
Hinüber in des Dichters Seele retten,
Und frägt und sinnet, welche von den Jungfern
Der Stadt die zärtlichemste Heroide sei,
Die seiner Seele vorgeschwebt, die er
Antigonä genannt; ...

... And we do
Take pleasure in great men, and one
Is now the sun of Athenian women,
Sophocles! To whom of all mortals
The most magnificent virgin nature first
Appeared and gave herself to pure commemoration
In his soul.———
——— each desires to be
A thought of the magnificent, and well would like
Ever-beautiful youth, before it withers,
To be taken into rescue in the poet's soul,
And wonders and ponders which of the city's
Virgins is the most tender-serious heroine
That appeared before his soul, the one he
Named Antigone. ...

Since Hölderlin himself translated the entire Antigone tragedy of Sophocles, it seems appropriate to hear the aforementioned choral ode as