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THE WAY TO LANGUAGE

appropriateness of their nature and there holds them.

Because showing of Saying is appropriating, therefore the ability to listen to Saying-our belonging to it-also lies in Appropriation. In order to grasp this fact and all it implies, we would need to think. through the nature of mortals with sufficient complt"teness in all its respects and rapports, but first ot all to think through Appropriation as such.* Here, a suggestion must suffice.

Appropriation, in beholding human nature, makes mortals appropriate for that which avows itself from everywhere to man in Saying, which points toward the concealed. Man's, the listener's, being made appropriate for Saying. has this distinguishing character, that it releases human nature into its own, but only in order that man as he who speaks, that is, he who says, may encounter and answer Saying, in virtue of what is his property. It is: the sounding of the word. The encountering saying of mortals is answering. Every spoken word is already an answer: counter-saying, coming to the encounter, listening Saying. When mortals are made appropriate for Saying, human nature is released into that needfulness out of which man is used for bringing soundless Saying to the sound of language.

Appropriation, needing and using man's appropriations, allows Saying to reach speech. The way to language belongs to Saying detennined by Appropriation. Within this way, which belongs to the reality of language, the peculiar property of language is concealed. The way is appropriating.

To clear a way, for instance across a snow-covered lield, is in the Alemannic-Swabian dialect still called wëgen even today.


* Compare Vorträge und Aufsätze (1954): "Das Ding" p. 165 ff.; "Bauen Wohnen Denken" p. 145 ff.; "Die Frage nach der Technik." p. 13 ff.-Today, when so much thoughtless and half-thought matter is rushed into print any which way, it may seem incredible to many of my readers that I have used the word "appropriation" (Ereignis) in my manuscripts for more than twenty-five years to indicate what is here in my thoughts. The matter, while simple in itself, still remains difficult to think, because thinking must first overcome the habit of yielding to the view that we are thinking here of "Being" as appropriation. But appropriation is different in nature, because it is richer than any conceivable definition of Being. Being, however, in respect of its essential origin, can be thought of in terms of appropriation.(M.H.)