in Heidegger’s own translation of the fragment, “emergence (from out of self-concealment) grants its grace [schenkt’s die Gunst] to self-concealment” (GA 7: 279/EGT 114, tm).11 Emergence, the entry into appearance (unconcealment) grants its grace (its appearing character) to self-concealment. That is to say, unconcealment lets concealment show itself. And without this showing of concealment, there would be nothing concealed, for concealment would go unremarked, a lapse into oblivion. For its part, concealment likewise lets emergence conceal itself. Emergence not only needs concealment precisely to emerge from, it also requires the shelter that it provides: “Emergence as such is each time already inclined to self-closure. In the latter the former remains sheltered. The κρύπτεσθαι as a bringing-oneself-to-shelter [Sichver-bergen] is not a mere self-closure, but rather a sheltering [Bergen] wherein the essential possibility of emergence remains guarded, a sheltering to which emergence as such belongs. The self-sheltering [das Sichverbergen] vouches [verbürgt] its essence to self-disclosure” (GA 7: 278/EGT 114, tm). What essences emerges as sheltered in concealment.

Heidegger sees the affiliation between concealment and unconcealment (the φιλεῖν) as essential to essencing itself, “so then φύσις and κρύπτεσθαι are not separated from each other, but rather reciprocally inclined to one another. They are the same [das Selbe]. In such inclination the one first grants [gönnt] to the other its own essence” (GA 7: 278–79/EGT 114, tm). To essence is to engage with concealment, to emerge in a way not entirely present. Emergence and concealment belong together, and a marginal note stresses this appropriative character of φιλεῖν, translating it not as “it likes,” but as “it has to own [es hat zu eigen]” (GA 7: 278 n. j).12 Heidegger explains that the fragment concerns φύσις, not as “the what of things” but instead in terms of “the essencing (verbal) of φύσις” (GA 7: 278/EGT 113, tm). Essencing is impossible without this concealment; what essences only ever does so in concealment (i.e., as non-present).

Now it is this very concealment that is targeted by the standing reserve. What is concealed and withheld is not available. Availability is not primarily a matter of rows and aisles of items arranged in department-store-like fashion, but rather must be understood in terms of an availability that inhabits the item itself. There is nothing of the item that is not turned over to the demands of service. There is nothing “inside” that would be shielded, guarded, or preserved against the demands of supply. The item is “called out” into availability. The demand of herausfordern is that everything show itself in the light of day and be what it is. That there be total and complete revelation without obscurity, remainder, or ambiguity: this is the challenge put to nature. Nature must come out of its hiding and stand ready in place, available and at our disposal.

11 The lecture course phrases it so: “The emergence into self-concealing grants grace” (GA 55: 131).

12 The marginal note refers to an exchange of letters between Heidegger and the classical philologist Hildebrecht Hommel, where Hommel writes in support of Heidegger’s interpretation of the fragment (DK 22 b 123/Freeman, Ancilla, 33), citing a philological finding by Johansson whereby philein is traced to something equivalent to a possessive pronoun. The translation is thus Hommel’s rendering of Johansson. For further details, see Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann’s editorial afterword to Vorträge und Aufsätze in the Gesamtausgabe, GA 7: 297–98.

Andrew J. Mitchell - The Fourfold

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