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Words in Blood, Like Flowers
Philosophy and Poetry, Music and Eros in Holderlin, Nietzsche, and Heidegger
Words in Blood, Like Flowers
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Babette E. Babich - Author
SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy
Price: $95.00 
Hardcover - 394 pages
Release Date: October 2006
ISBN10: 0-7914-6835-6
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6835-7

Price: $33.95 
Paperback - 394 pages
Release Date: June 2007
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6836-4


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A philosophical exploration of the power that poetry, music, and the erotic have on us.

Why did Nietzsche claim to have “written in blood”? Why did Heidegger remain silent after World War II about his participation in the Nazi Party? How did Hölderlin’s voice and the voices of other, more ancient poets come to echo in philosophy? Words in Blood, Like Flowers is a classical expression of continental philosophy that critically engages the intersection of poetry, art, music, politics, and the erotic in an exploration of the power they have over us. While focusing on three key figures—Hölderlin, Nietzsche, and Heidegger—this volume covers a wide range of material, from the Ancient Greeks to the vicissitudes of the politics of our times, and approaches these and other questions within their hermeneutic and historical contexts.

Working from primary texts and a wide range of scholarly sources in French, German, and English, this book is an important contribution to philosophy’s most ancient quarrels not only with poetry, but also with music and erotic love.

“The strength of Professor Babich’s book lies in her knowledge of continental philosophy … these comparative texts are always instructive, always insightful, and often quite surprising.” — Journal of the History of Philosophy

“Babich’s scholarship is exceptionally wide-ranging; she is among the foremost Nietzsche scholars; her arguments are provocative; and her style is fluent and elegant.” — Véronique M. Fóti, author of Epochal Discordance: Hölderlin’s Philosophy of Tragedy

“This is a work of great scholarship and philosophical sensitivity that draws impressively on German literature and thought. This is by no means an antiquarian book, but one that is fully engaged with contemporary issues in which these figures are important, issues ranging from philosophical complicity in tyranny to the hermeneutics of architecture to the notion of the real in Nietzsche and Lacan.” — Gary Shapiro, author of Alcyone: Nietzsche on Gifts, Noise, and Women

Babette E. Babich is Professor of Philosophy at Fordham University and is the editor of Habermas, Nietzsche, and Critical Theory and the author of Nietzsche’s Philosophy of Science: Reflecting Science on the Ground of Art and Life, also published by SUNY Press.

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Table of Contents



1. Philosophy and the Poetic Eros of Thought

2. Philology and Aphoristic Style: Rhetoric, Sources, and Writing in Blood

3. The Birth of Tragedy: Lyric Poetry and the Music of Words

4. Nietzsche’s “Gay Science”: Poetry and Love, Science and Music

5. Pindar’s Becoming: Translating the Imperatives of Praise


6. Philosophy as Music

7. Songs of the Sun: Hölderlin in Venice

8. On Pain and Tragic Joy: Nietzsche and Hölderlin

9. Nietzsche’s Erotic Artist as Actor/Jew/Woman


10. Chaos and Culture

11. The Ethos of Nature and Art: Hölderlin’s Ecological Politics

12. The Work of Art and the Museum: Heidegger, Schapiro, Gadamer

13. The Ethical Alpha and Heidegger’s Linguistic Omega: On the Inner Affinity Between Germany and Greece

14. Heidegger’s Beiträge as Will to Power

Name Index
Subject Index

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