lThe photo immobilizes Heidegger in a position that seems strange taken out of context. Stand, smiling and looking expectantly at a distant point, with the body leaning to the left, the right foot raised slightly backwards and the hand on the same side bent at the elbow, a couple of hands in front of the tie. For a long time he was unaware when he had taken this image and what situation it reflected. The writer Jérôme Delclos ended up finding the answer in an unexpected place, in the unpublished diaries of Henri Salvador, where the French singer and guitarist notes that, in September 1969 while they were in Provence, he and his friend, the music producer Eddie Barclay They decided to visit René Char to invite him to play some games of petanque. Upon arrival, they found the poet accompanied by a “gang of eggheads” who were holding “impossible conversations.”
The dates coincide with those of the second seminar that Heidegger gave at Le Thor. And, in Char’s residence, there were, according to Salvador, like someone who does not remember the names well, in addition to the thinker, his French translator, Jean Beaufret, and a young philosopher, the current president of the International College of Philosophy, Barbara Cassin. They all ended up playing petanque. And the enigmatic image would correspond to the moment in which the author of Being and time He has just thrown a ball without following the rule of the game that requires having both feet on the ground. As was jokingly said in a recent tweet, the word Geworfenheitwhich means the “condition of being thrown” and is characteristic of the philosophical jargon that Heidegger uses to talk about the situation of human beings in the world, takes on another meaning when it is pronounced with this photograph in mind.
To be or not to be at home was one of the great questions of Heidegger’s philosophy.
But the news of the meeting with Heidegger and the “eggheads” also casts a new aspect on a song that Henri Salvador composed around that time: On n’est plus chez nous (We are no longer at home), a humorous piece about the French who say they feel like foreigners in their country because only exotic languages were spoken on the streets of the capital. Whether or not to be at home was one of the great questions of Heidegger’s philosophy, which ended up relating the possibility of not being at home in one’s own country with the uprooting caused by liberal civilization and the possibility of being there with the language, which, according to Letter on humanism, which he dedicated precisely to Beaufret, was the house of being where man could live. when they say On n’est plus chez nous, the French in the song seem to speak in Heideggerian. As the monsieur Molière’s Jordan spoke in prose: without knowing it. And as they continue to speak forty-four years later, knowing it or not, those who, from the extreme right or conservative nationalism, cultivate for political purposes the sentiment expressed in the title of the song.