Pauses

I suppose the value, for me, of reading Mexican philosophy is that it gives me an occasion to reflect—or it moves me to thinking, not about Mexican philosophy, but about myself as inherently Mexican, as inherently situated outside Mexico and the Mexican situation. When I write about it, I don’t mean to interpret, but just to say out-loud what my reading reads. In this, I find encouraging Heidegger’s reading of Hölderlin’s “Ister,” where the latter offers “pauses for reflection,” and where these pauses are, what we could call, philosophy.

“Ninguna manifestación espiritual, por pobre que sea, aparece como un hecho aislado, explicable por si misma. Siempre se da un una situación concreta a partir de la cual debemos explicarla. La situación nos entrega el horizonte comprensivo de un momento histórico sobre el cual habran de destacarse los proyectos y afanes individuales. Pero, a su vez, una situación solo se comprende en función de un futuro que la organiza y de un pasado que la supera. La situación esta preñada de historicidad, solo incardinándola en su decurso temporal podremos descubrirla.”

Luis Villoro, “Genesis y proyecto del existencialismo en Mexico” (1949). 

So when I read these words, I am fucking happy that I don’t hear Hegel, as I should, or Dilthey, as I should, or Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Heidegger, as I could, or Badiou as some would…I hear, in Spanish, a Mexican existentialist affirming the rootedness of thinking, of living, of revelation.  In other words, I hear the pause for reflection and, at that moment, I too, pause. And that’s when reading matters! 

CAS

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