§5 Concealment and forgetting [119-120]

a machine. This "history" of the kinds of writing is one of the main reasons for the increasing destruction of the word. The latter no longer comes and goes by means of the writing hand, the properly acting hand, but by means of the mechanical forces it releases. The typewriter tears writing from the essential realm of the hand, i.e., the realm of the word. The word itself turns into something "typed." Where typewriting, on the contrary, is only a transcription and serves to preserve the writing, or turns into print something already written, there it has a proper, though limited, significance. In the time of the first dominance of the typewriter, a letter written on this machine still stood for a breach of good manners. Today a hand-written letter is an antiquated and undesired thing; it disturbs speed reading. Mechanical writing deprives the hand of its rank in the realm of the written word and degrades the word to a means of communication. In addition, mechanical writing provides this "advantage," that it conceals the handwriting and thereby the character. The typewriter makes everyone look the same.

We understand "action" (πρᾶγμα) as the unitary essential realm of the things "at hand" and of the "manipulating" acting man. To "action" thus understood there belongs by essential necessity ἡ ὁδός, the way, as the circumspective course going to and fro between what is at hand and the "manipulating" acting man. The way, ὁδός, is called ὀρθά. The Greek ὀρθός means "straight ahead," on and along the way, namely the way of the view and prospect toward the unconcealed. The basic meaning of ὀρθός is different from the Roman rectum, that which is directed toward what is above because it directs from above and commands and "rules" from above. The Roman rectitudo has also misconstrued the Greek ὀρθότης, which belongs to ὁμοίωσις, whose essence is originally attached to ἀλήθεια. The disclosive assimilation to the unconcealed within unconcealedness is a going along, namely along the way leading straight ahead, ὀρθῶς, to the unconcealed. Ὁμοίωσις is ὀρθότης. Ὀρθός, thought in the Greek manner, has, primordially, nothing in common with the Roman rectum or with our "right." To the essential realm of πρᾶγμα, i.e., to action essentially understood, belongs the way going straight ahead "toward the unconcealed." Insofar as the veiling cloud brings gloom, the way providing the view lacks that clarity which would lead it straight away toward the unconcealed. Therefore the cloud, within action, leads the way astray (παρά—beside, off), leads outside of what the thinking ahead, the reflecting, and the commemorating provide when they are guided by awe. Transposed into concealment, as such a darkening, man stands in a certain way outside of what is unconcealed.

The word "cloud" suggests an experience, and not a mere lived experience, of the essence of oblivion. But no less essential is the poetic characterization of the concealing cloud. It is called ἀτέχμαρτα. The

Martin Heidegger (GA 54) Parmenides