Event and Nothingness

Krzysztof Ziarek

Three paragraphs from the conclusion of “What is Metaphysics?”, Heidegger offers a summary of the significance of the disclosive force of the nothing in Dasein.

Only because the nothing is manifest in the ground of Dasein can total strangeness of beings overwhelm us. Only when the strangeness of being oppresses us does it arouse and evoke wonder. Only on the ground of wonder – the manifestness of the nothing – does the “why?” loom before us. Only because the “why” is possible as such can we in a definite way inquire into the grounds and ground things. Only because we can question and ground things is the destiny of our existence placed in the hands of the researcher.1
Einzig weil das Nichts im Grunde des Daseins offenbar ist, kann die volle Befremdlichkeit des Seienden über uns kommen. Nur wenn die Befremdlichkeit des Seienden uns bedrängt, weckt es und zieht es auf sich die Verwunderung. Nur auf dem Grunde der Verwunderung – d.h. der Offenbarkeit des Nichts – entspringt erst das “Warum?”. Nur weil das Warum als solches möglich ist, können wir in bestimmter Weise nach Gründen fragen und begründen. Nur weil wir fragen und begründen können, ist unserer Existenz das Schicksal des Forschers in die Hand geben.2

It is thanks to nothingness that beings disclose themselves to us as beings in the first place and that we can experience their strangeness. Such aroused wonder leads to asking the question “why?”, thus opening the inquiry into beings and, in turn, making science and knowledge possible. The significance and peculiarity of this question is that it also, and from the start, puts the questioner in question. The upshot of this paragraph, and of the whole essay, is the following: uniquely because of the nothing, that is, when the human being is held out into the nothing, hovers over it, and holds the site of nothingness in Dasein, is there questioning, thought, philosophy, culture, technology, etc.

The paragraph comprises five sentences, which, in the English translation, all begin with the adverb “only.” In the German, however, only four of the sentences begin with the corresponding “nur,” while the opening sentence starts with “einzig,” which means that the adverb einzig stands as the initial word of the passage. To maintain this difference in the English translation, the paragraph might begin, instead of “only,” with “solely” or perhaps “uniquely.” The difference is minor, even perfunctory, and I discovered it by comparing the German and the English texts only because what caught my eye while rereading the German original was the appearance of einzig in the same – crucial and summary – sentence together with the German term for the nothing: das Nichts. Once I noticed einzig figuring prominently as the opening word of the entire paragraph, it struck me as noteworthy and significant that in Heidegger’s German the four subsequent sentences all begin with a different adverb, nur, which both links these four sentences to the initial statement and yet, at the same time, distinguishes them – perhaps deliberately – from it, and does so without abolishing or interrupting the cumulative sequence. The English translation, in which “only” begins all five sentences of the paragraph in question, erases the possible distinctness in resonance, if not meaning, between einzig and nur.3

Since the translation treated the difference between einzig and nur as insignificant in this particular context, the poetic inclination in my ear prompted me to reverse course, as it were, and try to explore this paragraph, in fact the entire essay, and even more broadly, the question of the nothing in Heidegger, specifically with a view to the potential significance of the discreteness of einzig and nur, even deliberately to amplify the difference, and probe where its importance could lie. Obviously, it is not the translation that is at issue here but rather the way it helps illustrate, through the ease with which it glides over the apparently miniscule semantic difference between einzig and nur, the issue of singularity as it signals itself in Heidegger’s German. The translation can also be helpful in the context of this inquiry because it appears to proceed with the priority of meaning in view, rather than with primary attentiveness directed to the manner in which Heidegger thinks and writes. For, obviously, einzig and nur are two distinct words in German, even if their meanings as adverbs often tend to overlap.

I dwell on this point as an occasion to remark on the dominant tendency in philosophy, and in thought more broadly, to give priority to meaning over other aspects of language and expression; in other words, to draw attention to the precedence of signification and ideas over listening and the subtleties of sound, over particularities or idiomatics of expression. I do so primarily because the poetic in thinking, and thinking as poetic rather than as discursive or propositional thought, is so crucially important in Heidegger’s work. Even if this approach to thinking is not yet explicitly thematized in “What is Metaphysics?,” it is already signaled by the performative gestures of Heidegger’s text. What happens if, in this context, we let our thinking be guided by the discreteness of einzig and nur, even if, on the surface at least, there seems to be no significant difference in meaning?

In contrast to the English translation, the French rendering does reflect the distinction between einzig and nur, using “C’est uniquement” in the sentence opening the paragraph, and “Ce n’est que” in the following four sentences.4 Yet the French translation slightly modifies the grammatical structure by beginning every sentence with the indefinite demonstrative pronoun ce, while the English preserves the inversion and the emphasis in the German by retaining “only” in the accentuated initial position in each sentence of the paragraph in question. Both of those details – the erasure of the distinction between einzig and nur in English and the undoing of the inversion, which displaces both einzig and nur from the initial syntactical positions by the French pronoun ce – are important to the issue at hand. The first is, one could say, a matter of semantics, the second, a matter of syntax. Together, both are a matter of language, not simply of linguistics but rather of the language, the saying, or perhaps the poetics, of thinking. For it is significant that in this crucial paragraph all five sentences place adverbs (einzig and nur), not nouns or pronouns, at the beginning, giving these adverbs an additional and, by the end of the passage, also a cumulative emphasis. Repeated five times, the adverbs starting the sentences stand out as the focal point of thinking.

Significantly, this focal point is not the subject, whether syntactical or logical. Einzig, and then nur, are not the grammatical subjects of the sentences, nor the subjectmatter of the thinking gathered into the paragraph. Yet, despite these appearances, is this adverb not perhaps the very matter of this paragraph and thus of thinking, of poetic thinking, as the latter comes to prominence in Heidegger’s subsequent writings? Should we perhaps be adventurous here and follow Gertrude Stein’s prompt, who in her continually challenging writing emphasized precisely adverbs, certainly over static and “dead” nouns, but even over verbs? If we take Heidegger’s point about poetic thinking seriously, take it – as we should – perhaps even beyond the scope of his own ways of exploring the poetic (Dichtung) in his readings of Hölderlin, Rilke or Trakl, then the question of prefixes, suffixes, prepositions, and, yes, adverbs and adverbial modifiers, assumes a decisive position. It becomes the matter of thinking. It provokes us to call into question the approach that, in the realms of truth and knowledge, philosophy – though this problem is certainly not limited to philosophical thought – tends to privilege ideas, meaning, statements, and, grammatically speaking, nouns, often disqualifying and excluding other ways of thinking, saying and writing. When Heidegger writes: “time times”, “space spaces”, “world worlds” or “Das Ereignis ereignet”, it is to break, or at least to loosen, the exclusive hold of propositional grammar, and thus of nouns, meaning, and ideas, over the way of thinking, that is, to fracture the hold of what might be called the philosophical grammar of thought, which has been sedimented and solidified through centuries of practice. This is precisely why the end of his 1961 lecture “Time and Being” declares that the necessity of speaking in propositional statements is in fact an impediment to thinking, because it focuses attention on the meaning of statements rather than on the movement of language and the way of thinking. “The saying of event [Ereignis] in the form of a lecture remains an obstacle of this kind. The lecture has spoken merely in propositional statements.”5 By contrast, Heidegger’s quasi-tautological phrases snare thinking to dwell between the subject and the predicate, to hover in-between these parts of speech and grammatical functions in ways similar to how he deploys hyphens to make one pause and linger between prefixes and stems of the key words of his thinking, instead of rushing over them, treating them as transparent and simply subsuming them into their meaning or guiding ideas. These deliberate phrasings let thought stay the sequential course of language and remain for a while in the empty space of the between. The empty spaces between subjects and predicates enclosed within the quasi-tautological locutions as well as the hyphens opening and spanning key terms in Heidegger, all recall the “originary” hyphen of his thought, the one splicing Da-sein. As such, they also all pivot attention specifically to the nothing that, as “What is Metaphysics?” puts it, manifests in the ground of Dasein as its own, proper abyss (Abgrund). “Dasein means: being held out into the nothing.”6 Abiding in these hyphens and tautological sayings actuates the while that temporally underwrites presence in its momentum of arising/disappearing. Lingering a while becomes the scansion of Heidegger’s, and even more so of our, poetic thinking, as it metes out time and being in their play as the very matter of thinking. It is important not to forget that this scansion illustrates in fact the rhythm of the nothing.

The paragraph with which I opened this essay is constructed as a sequence of statements that all use the preceding sentence as the ground from which what they describe derives: from the nothing in Dasein unfolds the strangeness of beings, then wonder and the question “why?”, then the possibility of ground and the grounding of beings, and, finally, the gesture of placing the destiny of existence in the hands of researchers. What further enhances this sense of aggregate derivation is the repetition of the syntactic inversion as the grammatical structure of all five sentences composing the paragraph. Only in the context of this cumulative repetition of inversion, the fact that in German Heidegger uses einzig and not nur in the opening assertion manifests its significance. To put it simply, the distinction between einzig and nur marks, employing Heidegger’s early parlance, the difference between the ontological and the ontic level of analysis. The paragraph’s first sentence pertains to the nothing pulsing in Dasein, and thus to the ontological dimension of being. Subsequent statements, all beginning with nur, refer to the ontic level of beings: their strangeness, the question of the “why?” of their existence, the inquiry into the grounding of beings, and the role of the human beings in this questioning. While it cannot be certain that this was all well thought-out or intended by Heidegger, given how careful and performative a thinker and a writer he was, it is hard not to see deliberateness in the construction of this pivotal paragraph: in its use of inversion, repetition, and the crucial, yet understated distinction between einzig (singularly) and nur (only). For this seemingly innocuous phraseological distinction in fact actuates the ontico-ontological difference, not just conceptually but also by inscribing it within the very language forming the thought as it unfolds and takes shape. It thus introduces a more pronounced pause between the first and the following four statements, enticing thought to linger in the between and pay attention to the crucial turn from the ontological to the ontic. In this way, the paragraph highlights the incommensurability of the ontological irruption of the nothing, while both linking it to the statements about the ontic derived from it and disallowing its subsumption into the same line of questioning. “Nihilation will not submit to calculation in terms of annihilation and negation. The nothing itself nihilates.”7 This irruption takes place not only on the level of the concept or meaning but also within what could be called the language-way of thinking.

Before turning more directly to the question of the nothing and to the problematic of singularity, one more element of Heidegger’s language needs to be addressed. In the paragraph under discussion, the adverb einzig and in two cases also the adverb nur are followed by the conjunction weil, translated into English as “because” and into French as parce que. Taken and translated this way, the conjunction becomes causal and in English it inscribes cause literally into its word-form: “be-cause,” that is, by cause, by reason of. The statements thus appear to operate within the paradigm of cause and effect, according to which the nothing manifest in Dasein renders beings strange, and which then prompts the question “why?”, and so on. And yet, in the context of Heidegger’s rethinking of temporality and presence, the conjunction weil needs to be read, I would argue, not with regard to causation but in terms of abiding and lingering, which describe the momentum, and the scansion of the clearing of the time-space in which beings and their relations, including those of causality, become manifest. The conjunction weil cannot but be related in Heidegger to the idiom of abiding and lingering, that is, to scansion of the while: to Weile (a while), verweilen, or jeweilig. Etymology suggests that weil comes from the Old High German hwīla, used for example in thiu hwīla sō or thiu wīla sō, that is, so lange wie, “so long as.” The cognate word, written with a “ch” as chwila, is the Polish word for a while or a moment. What is important is that weil indicates temporality, a span or an interval, before it becomes transformed into a causal conjunction. It concerns lasting, and in this sense, is akin to the German terms währen (to last) and während (during). However, its usage later moves from temporal to causal, which can be taken to be indicative of the slippage of thought from holding out into and hovering over the nothing to constructing causal or derivational chains of descent. This is why, whether Heidegger intended it or not, we need to read “einzig weil” not in the causative register as “only because” but rather in terms of the while: “singularly while”: “Singularly while the nothing manifests in Dasein, can the total strangeness of beings overwhelm us.” Translated this way, the sentence is not about the nothing leading to or prompting the experience of the strangeness of beings, but rather about how letting thought linger in the while of the nothing allows the strangeness of the fact that there are beings rather than nothing to manifest.

It is crucial to this way of thinking that “weil/while” be resonant in all its possible lexical and syntactical registers: as noun, verb, conjunction, and, above all, as adverb. Moreover, my analysis of the paragraph from “What is Metaphysics?” indicates that the question of the nothing rides on the ability not only to unfold the full scope of this resonance but also to anchor thinking, to let it abide, in the adverbial. Neither the nominal nor the verbal is primary here but precisely the adverbial: the nominal, the verbal, and the conjunctive arise from and, more often than not, congeal or conceal the adverbial. Thought from the event, from its nothing, “einzig weil” would not simply mean “solely or singularly while” but also emphasize the fact that each time the while is singular: it does not repeat, being only one time. The nothing’s “while” is always singular ein mal, einmalig. As becomes evident in Heidegger’s Ereignis-manuscripts, the understanding of einzig pivots on the notion of Einmaligkeit (one-timeness) and on das Einst (the once). This amplification of the resonance of the adverbial is perhaps what it would mean to think the nothing poetically, in terms of Dichtung, rather than conceptually, let alone in terms of negation or annihilation. To think the nothing not as the negative backdrop to beings but as inhering in and giving the momentum to the unfolding of beings: “The nothing does not merely serve as the counterpoint of beings; rather, it originally belongs to their essential unfolding as such. In the being of beings the nihilation of the nothing occurs.”8

What Heidegger describes as Nichten or sometimes as Nichtung, as the nihilation of the nothing, transpires in the register of Einmaligkeit, of the singular as one-time or once only. The nothing, or more properly its nihilation, overwhelms not simply because of its sweeping pulse that repels all beings, but also because its irruption is always onetime, without repetition. It is like nothing else ever – and it is so because the nothing in Heidegger has an inceptual character: not only is it not negative or null, it in fact actuates each time the beginning. Describing the event as the counterturning of the departure (Abschied) and difference/scission (Unterschied), Heidegger remarks: “This counterturning conceals the essential belonging of the nihilation, i.e., of the inceptual (not null) nothingness, to beyng [Seyn].”9 It is through human attentiveness to nihilation in the event that “previously beingless beings” [vormals seinlosen {Seienden}] eventuate and manifest as beings.10 What is inceptual about nothingness is precisely the refusal or denial (Versagung) of the beginning. In letting begin, the beginning, in its proper nihilation, mis-says (ver-sagen) itself.11 Yet, mindful of the way the prefix ver- works in Heidegger’s thought often against the dictionary meaning of words, this refusal is also a torqued way that Nichten “says” itself, and does so through an extreme way of saying, intensified and brought to the very edge saying, as the German prefix ver- suggests. This saying is not human, and not a matter of language. It is the voice (Stimme) of being that disposes and tunes (Stimmen) the human response and thus human languages. In this sense, the Versagung is speechless, or, language-less, where this “lessness” becomes the most extreme or radical way of saying that marks the word of beyng, as Heidegger explains: “The event is the inceptual word, because its arrogation (as the unique adoption of the human being into the truth of beyng) disposes the human essence to the truth of being (...) the event-related beginning (i.e., beyng as abyssal in its truth) is the inceptually disposing voice: the word. The essence of the word resides in the event-related beginning.”12 And: “We are still unable to apprehend that this claim [Anspruch] of the beginning is an addressing and a claiming that eventuates in what is speechless [Sprachlosigkeit/absence of language, release from language in the usual sense] (...).What appears to be the absence of language [Sprache; not “speech” as the translation has it], that is, the absence of signs and words [der Wörter und des Wortes], is, thought inceptually and essentially, only the pure event of the word as the disposing voice of beyng.”13 The disposition (Stimmung) of the voice (Stimme) that is the event is jeweilig einmalig: it only ever happens once, and is singular in the adverbial sense of being one-time and non-repeatable: das Einst. This “adverbial” thinking returns the dignity to beyng (Seyn), to each singular, semelfactive while of being, and thus, as Heidegger remarks, also to every and any being: singular not simply in their beingness but in each non-repeatable moment of their being.

It is this assignation to the beginning, which each time arises though the nihilation, that singularizes any and every being, not just humans, but non-human and non-living beings alike. “The essence of the event grounds the fact that every being is admitted into a uniqueness and is more proper the more essentially it is at any time the individual of a singling out as unique. Individuality in this sense is essentially distinct from the particularization and instantiation of the individual ‘cases’ which are set off against the ‘universal.’”14 Heidegger’s use of jeweilig, translated as “at any time,” indicates that the singling out and uniqueness discussed here are not thought on the level of “beingness” but in terms of being and its event, that is, with regard to the once of each while. This uniqueness, or better singularity, is always inaugural, a matter of beginning: it is jeweilig in its adverbial sense: at this sole time, in this sole while.

The analysis of the subtleties of Heidegger’s use of einzig, einmalig, or das Einst prompts revising the way that singularity is understood. The unique as the singular in Heidegger does not obtain on the level of the beingness of beings, for such singularity would suggest that there are simply no other beings like the one in question. Rather, singularity pertains to being, to the event; that is, it is occasioned only ever one time. We could rewrite the first sentence of the paragraph with which I began my paper so that it starts with “einst” to underscore the semelfactivity at issue here. It is simply the fact that being-time is always singular in its momentum of turning into a while or a moment. The fact that it is always this moment as the only moment there ever is, or that it could ever only be this moment and not the next one, is due to the nothing of the event. Because of the nothing, that is, because of Nichtung (nihilation), the event transpires in the register of the once (das Einst). What can be extrapolated from Heidegger’s use of einzig, einmalig, and einst is that singularity is not to be thought initially with regard to beings, as a noun or an adjective, that is, as a property or a characteristic of beings, as it has been most often debated. It is also not the fact that the singular is always already plural, as in Nancy’s “singular plural,” but rather that singularity works already, and first of all, adverbially. Singularity is a matter, or in fact the matter of modality; it is modal, adverbial, spanning ever only a while. It is the extension, the obtaining of the while, indicated for instance in Heidegger’s use of the verb Reichen in “Time and Being,” that occurs semelfactively. If the adjective semelfactive is used nowadays almost exclusively in linguistics to indicate an event that is punctual, perfective and complete in itself, and thus also atelic and noniterative, I want to argue that semelfactivity as drawn out of Heidegger is not adjectival but adverbial. The Event describes the “that it is” of beyng in the following way: “But this “that it is” of beyng does not merely fall under the determination of uniqueness [Einzigkeit], as if there were a “uniqueness” existing in itself; instead, this “that it is” is the unique beginning of all uniqueness, which allows for the essential occurrence of the abyssal separation in relation to the nothingness of beyng and becomes the origin of all experience of beyng.”15 The uniqueness or singularity (Einzigkeit) occurs in truth as Einmaligkeit: as one-timeness. The nothing nihilates ever once, as das Einst. Other determinations of singularity: on the level of beings or their beingness, as the singular plural of being, etc., are determinations that are let be through the adverbial once of the event, whereby the scission of nothingness and being takes place, allowing “all experience of beyng.”16 Semelfactive here would characterize the yet non-temporal scansion of the while, of this only while, each time jeweilig. It would be a scansion that does not ever let itself be inscribed in the temporalization that it itself underwrites but works instead as what adverbially draws and holds past, present, and future with regard to one another. In terms of Heidegger’s essay “Time and Being”, the nearness or nearhood as the fourth dimension of temporality can be thought of as semelfactive in this sense. Singularity is of the dimension of the while, of this once only while and its intrinsic nothingness. Only because of the working of the nothing, of its singular, one-time “sense,” is there singularity as a characteristic or a property, or as singular or unique beings, or even as singular circumstances or occurrences.

The eminently singular sense of the nothing needs to be thought not only with regard to being but in relation to both being and time, to time and being as the matter of thinking. “What is Metaphysics?” refigures the nothing by detaching it from the traditional binary of being and nothingness, and by freeing it from its determinations in terms of negation and annihilation. In this manner, the essay articulates the question of being through the prism of the nothing more forcefully than Being and Time does. By the same token, it still keeps the problematic of the nothing within the purview of being, and it is only with the subsequent writings on the Ereignis as well as the short late essay “Time and Being” and the seminar that followed it that the need to understand the nothing with regard to both time and being, perhaps even specifically in regards to the conjunction between them, to their “Sach-Verhalt”, becomes evident. In the manuscripts devoted to the Ereignis and in the post-World War II essays, for instance, in “The Thing”, nothingness is no longer thought solely or primarily in relation to being, for instance as its opposite, obverse, or negation, as has been the case in the metaphysical tradition of Western thought, but rather through the prism of the event and later in terms of the world as the fourfold. With the introduction of the event, it becomes manifest that the nothing needs to be thought more inceptually, that is, from the event, as belonging to the event and being of the event. In other words, at that point at issue is the nothing of the event. It becomes the matter of the inception (Anfang), of the event as bringing, in each once opening time-space, what is beingless (das Seinlose) into being. Human beings, transformed into mortals through their “standing” (Inständigkeit) in Dasein, become the watchers or the guardians of the nothing, the only ones who can keep being in its spacing and temporalization in view of the nothing proper to the event.

Even if one insists that the nothing belongs originarily and without reprieve in the relation to being, its momentum, Nichten or nihilating, underwrites the “es gibt” (the there is/it gives) through which Heidegger describes the event in “Time and Being”. Nihilating is the limen of giving through which the event takes place in the self-erasing figure of es gibt. Once again, we encounter a phrase in Heidegger that suspends the subject/predicate grammar, this time perhaps even more radically, since the grammatical subject “es” is a non-subject that empties itself in the very gesture of its non/inscription. This self-erasure or canceling is in fact a kind of emptying or voiding, a nihilation that lets what comes to be given manifest as time and being. In this manner nihilation insists in time and being. Even though time and being appear to be continuous, nihilation forms their proper interstice. It is an empty, inapparent between in the seemingly continuous unfolding into time and being. As the Latin source of the English interstice, intersistere, makes clear, the nothings nihilates (das Nichts nichtet) by standing in-between, voiding each moment of time and being from within. One could say that nihilating exists within, that is, insists, literally, in-stands (from the Latin insistere) in time and being, never separate from them nor identical with their manifestations as presencing and temporalization. Presence and temporalization owe their being given to nihilation, that is, to their being properly given in withholding, refusal, or emptying. In this manner, Nichten or nihilating under-lines both time and being, tracing their hold on each other, that is, their reciprocal bearing, as the very matter of thinking. The interchange, and the trading off of their reciprocal bearings constitutes the Verhalt of the Sach-verhalt, of the “fact” that is called “time and being”, the fact that “there is time and being.” In addition to intensifying the mutual bearing of time and being, the prefix ver- in Verhalt also shows the easy slippage, the potential mis-hold that makes being appear as presence and time manifest in the guise of a sequence of nows. This is why the morpheme ver- in Verhalt could perhaps also be said to bespeak the Janus-faced character of the event: Ereignis unfolds properly only as Enteignis. “Thought from the eventuating [vom Ereignen], this [that is, what is most proper to the event] means: it expropriates [enteignet; de-events] itself of itself. To event as such belongs the de-event.”17

As event, the Ereignis does not offer itself in any positive manner, but precisely as its own ex- or dispropriation. It events by dis- or deventuating: Ereignis gives only as Enteignis; or there is Ereignis only as Enteignis. The German prefix er-, indicating the instantiation of occurrence and the bringing about of the proper, does so only at the cost, and at the bidding, of its instantaneous turning into its apparent opposite, ent-, thus voiding, pulling back, contracting and emptying presence, and even the giving that instantiates it. The “disevent” (Enteignis) properly constitutes the event and it does so because of the nothing that pulses in it. In other words, the event “dis/events” through its proper Nichten/nihilating. To give what is proper to the event, being and time, the event can only do so in the manner of Nichten. The proper of the event, its time and being, manifests as a presencing (Anwesen) that withholds presence and as a nearness that, while letting past, present, and future unfold, never comes into time, never consents to be present. The event properly occurs as Enteignis because nihilation (Nichten) is eschatological; its rise is an eschatological turn into the going under, into disappearance. That turn is always one-time, singular, to the point of non-repetition. It is eschatological because it always ends the once and irrevocably, without recall or return. Finitude is always ever here, only now. It is not at the end of time, nor does it denote a limited stretch of time, just as it does not pertain to last things. Nihilation is eschatological in the sense of the once that is always the last. Only while Enteignis actuates Ereignis, while it properly voids what is proper to it – that is, nihilates the proper – is there the question of being and of beings, of time and being. Describing this singularity as a turn or a moment, or even as Ereignis, fails because at issue is not a something that could be captured through a noun, have its features or characteristics described with the use of adjectives, or even have its enactment be presented through a verb. For this singularity obtains adverbially: einzig, einmalig, einst.


1 M. Heidegger, “What is Metaphysics?”, in Pathmarks, ed. W. H. McNeill (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 95-96.

2 M. Heidegger, “Was ist Metaphysik?”, in Wegmarken (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1976), 120.

3 Like the English version, the translation into Polish also effaces the distinction between einzig and nur, so that all sentences begin with tylko: “Tylko dlatego ze nasza przytomność opiera się na jawności nicości, opaść nas może cała osobliwość bytu. Tylko wtedy gdy trapi nas osobliwość bytu, pobudza on i ściąga na siebie nasze zdziwienie. Tylko na podstawie zdziwienia, to znaczy ujawnienia się nicości, może się pojawić „dlaczego?”. Tylko dzięki temu, że „dlaczego?” jest możliwe jako takie, możemy w określony sposób zapytywać o podstawy, o zasady i uzasadniać. Tylko dlatego, że możemy zapytywać i uzasadniać, naszej egzystencji powierzony jest los badacza.” Cf. M. Heidegger, “Czym jest metafizyka?”, trans. K. Pomian, in Budować, mieszkać, myśleć. Eseje wybrane, ed. K. Michalski (Warszawa: Czytelnik, 1977), 45-46.

4 “C’est uniquement parce que le rien est manifeste au fond de l’être-là que peut venir sur nous la pleine étrangeté de l’étant. Ce n’est que si l’étrangeté de l’étant nous presse que celuici éveille et appelle à soi l’étonnement. Ce n’est que sur le fond de l’étonnement – c’est-àdire de la manifestation du rien – que surgit le « pourquoi ? ». Ce n’est que parce que le pourquoi comme tel est possible que nous pouvons d”une manière déterminée, questionner sur les raisons et fonder en raison. Ce n’est que parce que nous pouvons questionner et fonder en raison que le destin du chercheur est remis à notre existence.” Cf. M. Heidegger, “Qu’est-ce que la métaphysique?”, trans. R. Munier, in Cahier de L’Herne nº 45: Martin Heidegger, ed. M. Haar (Paris: Éditions de l’Herne, 1983), 56.

5 M. Heidegger, On Time and Being, trans. J. Stambaugh (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1972), 24.

6 Heidegger, Pathmarks, 91.

7 Heidegger, Pathmarks, 90.

8 Heidegger, Pathmarks, 91.

9 M. Heidegger, The Event, trans. R. Rojcewicz (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2012), 128.

10 Heidegger, The Event, 138. Das Ereignis, GA 71 (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 2009), 161.

11 Heidegger, The Event, 144.

12 Heidegger, The Event, 145.

13 The Event, 146; Das Ereignis, 172.

14 Heidegger, The Event, 140; Das Ereignis, 164.

15 Heidegger, The Event, 144-145

16 Heidegger, The Event, 145.

17 Heidegger, On Time and Being, 22-23; Zur Sache des Denkens (Pfullingen: Neske, 1969), 23.

Krzysztof Ziarek - Event and Nothingness
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