Solitude, Violation, Alterity: Rulfo’s Wastelands


In the most influential ontology of human being in the last century, Martin Heidegger emphasizes the temporal structure of Dasein as constituted out of the future. My existence, my being here now, is radically unfinished, an open site of possibility, a situatedness that is at once, already and always, toward the future. Existence, according to Heidegger, has the character of project, my practical involvement in the world structured by an in-order-to that develops the sense of Da-sein as care. But ultimately my futurity concerns my being-towards-death. For Heidegger, death is not one possibility among others, but the possibility most determinative of my being, that which belongs to me and no one else. Death individuates. Authentically or inauthentically, the relation to death gives shape to my existence and marks the way I bear my temporality, the manner in which the future crashes in upon me and dislodges the present from its static representation within linear time. Ecstatic existence is the concrete correlate of the ontological claim that possibility is higher than actuality (Being and Time, 38, 262).

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