Hyperion - Friedrich Hölderlin

 

I kept reading here and there that Holderlin influenced many philosophers and poets. I read Hyperion partly because I read his name many times and I didn't know why he is so influential. Now I know.

Even if I read the translation rather than the German version of Hyperion, the ideas enclosed in it are interesting enough to ignore the loss in translation.

Holderlin has a very special way to describe everything. He does not  relate what he sees and feels in a familiar way. He rather invites the reader to grasp the world in a new way, unfamiliar but attractive, daring but sweet. Even if he was more known during his lifetime for his breakdown, this is not what distinguishes him the most. His style is not a fool’s style more than it is a genius's one, for he chooses to grasp things as they are without having recourse to everyday language. He uses simple words but he combines them in a strong way. He breaks the boundaries of contraries to unite opposing things as one, which forms harmony. I guess this is why he influenced Heidegger so much. I read Hyperion after reading Being and Time, and the similarities in the two books are stunning. In a way, Heidegger adapts many of Holderlin’s ideas to a philosophical context.

I don’t feel like I can describe this book as well as I want. It is a book to be read and felt.