Martin Woessner (CUNY) reviews Peter Trawny’s Freedom to Fail: Heidegger’s Anarchy (Polity, 2015), which I just recently read. In fact, I wrote up a review to send the LARB on it, but wanted to wait a few days to look at it again to copy edit, which is all for the best since Woessner does an excellent job with it. Trawny’s book is essentially a reading of Heidegger’s Nazism through the prism of Heidegger’s thinking, or at least one interpretation of it. Thus great thinking leads to errancy, and so on. I honestly had a hard time to know what to make of it, since it seemed at once greatly critical and on the other is written in such Heideggerese as to ennoble repeatedly the greatness of the very thinker in question. I’ll get that out soon and post a link (I don’t think I’ll publish a book review again that isn’t open access) but Woessner’s review here hits on my own response and is well worth a read:
How tolerant you are of this kind of thinking [Trawny’s repeated turn back to Heidegger’s claim that only great thinking could lead to errancy] will determine how persuasive you find Trawny’s defense of Heidegger’s errancy, which entails accepting at least three interrelated things: first, that Heidegger’s errancy was a necessary component of his thinking; second, that his thinking was destined by the history of being going back to Ancient Greece; and third, that this tragic narrative exists not just beyond good and evil, but also beyond guilt and responsibility, in an “abyss of freedom.” In other words, true thinking means never having to say you’re sorry.