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By Peter Westergaard

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Listening here marks out an ambiguous space into which a number of dissident gender formations were able to rush. Indeed, listening, we might say, opens up queer space. Into the Water with Hölderlin Friedrich Hölderlin, who lived the romantic fabulous (‘fabelhaft’ or fable-like) distinction of the ‘mad’ poet, seemed to embody, after his removal to an asylum in Tübingen in 1806, a state of exotic strangeness that fascinated his contemporaries and ensured his enshrinement in the romantic pantheon of secular saints, alongside many other romantic outsiders, as both an exotic and a kind of exemplar of poetic subjectivity.

Discourse Channels 23 reach of language: that is to say, madness stands here for a structurally open-ended experimental space in which the end of language and the beginning of something else is imagined. Wackenroder’s oeuvre, we might say, is constituted around an endless search for a way of trying to get to an ideal or ‘general’ mode of discourse, a way of addressing the world that does not get bogged down in forms of petty particularism (he terms them variously ‘hieroglyphs’, ‘scribbles’, ‘chatter’, all forms of Verkehr or worthless exchange or communication).

No. The lines just cited tell us that the flow of the river that is named here is an activity that takes its own time, and that such activity is concealed. 10 The distinction that Heidegger speaks of here is that distinction marked, specifically, by song: At the beginning of that other river hymn that bears the full title “The Rhine”, we hear it said: “Enigma is that which has purely sprung forth. 11 This designation of flow as something that only song can tell, and the representation of song as a kind of channelling – of the steering of discourse by song in order to speak without origins, without source, to speak only of becoming – resonates strongly, as we shall see, with the problematics of F.

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