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By Benjamin, Walter; Celan, Paul; Celan, Paul; Benjamin, Walter; Benjamin, Andrew E

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In the end it will involve a similar movement to the one occurring (perhaps envisaged) in what, in the same text, Heidegger describes as ‘leaving metaphysics to itself’. And yet, this ‘metaphysics’ is not just an option for thinking, a way of doing philosophy, though clearly it is that as well. Here, ‘metaphysics’ is a description of the ‘age’ and consequently it involves the present. It circumscribes the epochal present. ‘Leaving metaphysics to itself’ or doing ‘without’ it is an act in the present which opens the future, but opens it towards a possibility that is there in the present even though by definition it could not occur either ‘in’ the present or ‘as’ it.

As opposed to philology, theology concentrates on the ‘nach’ . With this concentration, however, there arises the inevitable question of limits. Does a Nachleben always survive? Is there a limit therefore to this ‘nach’ and thus to any nach? Can the life of the ‘afterlife’ (Nachleben), the ‘afterhistory’ (Nachgeschichte), come to an end?

What this entails is, first of all, an overcoming of the given ‘indifference’ and stemming contemporary ‘passion’, and, second, thinking being in its differentiation from beings and thus as differentiated from them. The force of the description that presents ‘today’ as the ‘release of being’ allows for the recognition of the current epochality of being, that which being ‘today’ forms and informs, while indicating that it is within the very structure of this presenting, because of what it is, that it becomes possible to consider the conditions of 34 BENJAMIN AND HEIDEGGER SHOWING THE PRESENT possibility for the thinking of being itself.

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