178 • The Restriction of Being

Through the artwork, as Being that is <das seiende Sein>, everything else that appears and that we can find around us first becomes confirmed and accessible, interpretable and understandable, as a being, or else as an unbeing.

Because art, in a distinctive sense, brings Being to stand and to manifestation in the work as a being, art may be regarded as the ability to set to work, pure and simple, as τέχνη. Setting-to-work is putting Being to work in beings, a putting-to-work that opens up. This opening-up and keeping open, which surpasses and puts to work, is knowing. The passion of knowing is questioning. Art is knowing and hence is τέχνη. Art is not τέχνη merely because it involves “technical” skills, tools, and materials with which to work.

Thus τέχνη characterizes the δεινόν, the violence-doing, in its decisive basic trait; for to do violence is to need to use violence against the over-whelming: the knowing struggle to set Being, which was formerly closed off, into what appears as beings.

2. Just as the δεινόν, as doing violence, gathers up its essence into the fundamental Greek word τέχνη, the δεινόν as the overwhelming [123|169] is manifested in the fundamental Greek word δίκη. We translate this word as fittingness <Fug>.65 Here we understand fittingness first in the sense of joint and structure; then as arrangement, as the direction that the overwhelming gives to its sway; finally, as the enjoining structure, which compels fitting-in and compliance.

65. See Antigone, line 369. The usual translation of δίκη is “justice” (in German, Gerechtigkeit). The word Fug is used today only in stock phrases such as mit Fug und Recht (quite rightfully, quite properly). It is related to Fuge (joint; fugue), Gefüge (structure), Fügung (arrangement), fügen (enjoin, dispose), sich fügen (comply), einfügen (fit into, fit in) and verfügen (have at its disposal).

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