§20 Becoming homely in being unhomely [146-147]

what is determinative here be encountered anywhere as something first posited on a particular occasion, and yet it has already appeared before all else, without anyone being able to name a particular being from which it has sprung forth. It is to that which is unconcealed in this way that the essence of Antigone belongs. To be sheltered within and to become homely in what is thus unconcealed is what she herself names παθεῖν τὸ δεινόν τοῦτο—passing through this being unhomely amid all beings. In Antigone's taking such being unhomely into her own essence, she is "properly" unhomely. Is Antigone then not affected after all by the rejection announced at the conclusion of the choral ode? Certainly not. She is exempt, exempt, however, not because she stands outside of the δεινόν, but because she properly is the most uncanny in the supreme manner, namely in such a way that she takes it upon her in its full essence, in taking it upon herself to become homely within being.

The closing words reject the unhomely one and point toward the homely. The closing words of the choral ode are of an uncanny ambiguity that concerns being unhomely itself. The closing words speak against the unhomely one, but in the sense of a decision held in reserve, from the perspective of the most uncanny risk that risks nothing less than the essence of uncanniness itself. For this reason, the closing words carry the clear resonance of a knowledge of the hearth. The unhomely one shall not be someone homely, so long as they stick merely and solely to their being unhomely and thus let themselves be driven about amid beings, without any constancy. The closing words reject whoever is unhomely in this way, and at the same time call in the direction of a knowledge of the proper essence of the unhomely one. The closing words conceal within them a pointer toward that risk that has yet to be unfolded and accomplished but that is accomplished in the tragedy as a whole, the risk of distinguishing and deciding between that being unhomely proper to human beings and a being unhomely that is inappropriate. Antigone herself is this supreme risk within the realm of the δεινόν. To be this risk is her essence. She assumes as her essential ground ἀρχή τἀμήχανα—that against which nothing can avail since it appears of its own accord, no one knows where-from. Antigone assumes as what is fitting that which is destined to her from the realm of whatever prevails beyond the higher gods (Zeus) and beyond the lower gods (Δίκη). Yet this refers neither to the dead, nor to her blood-relationship with her brother. What determines Antigone is that which first bestows ground and necessity upon the distinction of the dead and the priority of blood. What that is, Antigone. and that also means the poet, leaves without name. Death and human being, human being and embodied life (blood) in each case belong together. "Death" and "blood" in each case name different and extreme realms of human being, and such