Recognition and concealment

Heidegger’s ‘it gives’ in modern poetics


  • Jørgen Veisland University of Gdańsk


Being, time, it gives (es gibt), recognition, concealment


In his essay “On Time and Being” (1972; “Zur Sache des Denkens”, 1969) Martin Heidegger states that “Being is determined by time as presence” and then proceeds to analyze the relation between time and Being, ending his argument by calling that relation Ereignis, appropriation and event. Appropriation is a process of unconcealment that, paradoxically, yet conceals itself. Being is indeterminate and this indeterminacy is explored in Søren Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling and Repetition, in Paul Auster’s Portrait of an Invisible Man, Samuel Beckett’s Molloy and The Unnamable, Wallace Stevens’ poem “The Snow Man”, and Kirsten Thorup’s novel Indtil vanvid, indtil døden. The indeterminacy of Being is valorized as a positive difference existing concurrently in ontology and aesthetics. Poetry grasps this positive difference.

Author Biography

Jørgen Veisland, University of Gdańsk

Jørgen Steen Veisland is associate professor of Scandinavian, American and Comparative Literature at the University of Gdańsk, Poland, where he has been employed since 1992. He is a member of The International Association for Scandinavian Studies and The International Association for Ethical Literary Criticism. He is the author of Kierkegaard and the Dialectics of Modernism and many other books and articles.


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