Heidegger –> Stevens
Apropos of Heidegger’s claim that art is the origin of the (“meaninged”) universe in which we operate, the following by Wallace Stevens (Anecdote of the Jar):
I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness
Surround that hill.
The wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.
The jar was round upon the ground
And tall and of a port in air.
It took dominion everywhere.
The jar was gray and bare.
It did not give of bird or bush,
Like nothing else in Tennessee.
It seems that we have something similar here to Heidegger’s take on the significance of the Greek temple: neither the temple nor the jar have representative power — they are not products of their natural or cultural context — but rather act on their surroundings and bend them to human needs, intuitions or desires. The jar as the symbol of art is the source of the unconcealed world in which we qua cultured beings exist.