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This report is taken from PN Review 208, Volume 39 Number 2, November - December 2012.

A Stange Enthusiasm for Herr Her (1) Frank Kuppner
1.
In which a celebrated philosopher emphasises what extremely special and utterly central people great philosophers and poets are - and, astonishingly enough, a celebrated poet then comes along and by and large agrees with him.

2.
Perhaps what linked them, rather, was their common attempt to create a language that would fail to express the inexpressible at least in a somewhat more authentic manner? Yes. If one must express nothing - or, indeed, so much more ambitiously, Nothing - then let it at least be done in, shall we say, a bona fide way. Better than nothing, one can only assume. After all, one has the reputation of German philosophy to consider, does one not? Who knows? Perhaps it may even be a start?

(3.
I don't suppose 'inauthentic' could just be another word for 'intelligible'?)

4.
A new language? Now, there's a thought, eh? With which, if successful, one would be able to combine sounds and make noises in (no doubt hugely significant) ways that hadn't been managed before. Right. So far, so (presumably) revelatory. And yet: how would anyone, as a matter of fact, be quite sure what these supposed great new thoughts, insights, intuitions, or whatever they might be (hitherto unexpressed, and indeed inexpressible, in more traditional, weary, old-hat, objective, scientific, middle-class, non-German etc. etc. language) - how would anyone be quite sure what these great new thoughts themselves actually amounted to? Eh? How, Mr Naive y ...


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