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Responding to LossHeideggerian Reflections on Literature, Architecture, and Film$
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Robert Mugerauer

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823263240

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823263240.001.0001

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When the Given Is Gone

When the Given Is Gone

From the Black Forest to Berlin and Back via Wim Wenders’ Der Himmel Über Berlin

(p.109) 3 When the Given Is Gone
Responding to Loss

Robert Mugerauer

Fordham University Press

Wenders’ Wings of Desire and Heidegger's “homey” lectures from the 1950s explore the burdens of life after God and a civilized heritage have disappeared. Marion's phenomenology of givenness unfolds the dynamic in which the gift of the ordinary world is given. The film's angels observe Berlin residents’ everyday life, one angel finally chooses mortal existence, and the main characters’ succeed in mutual encounter, showing how the call and response that constitute acceptance and affirmation of each other and the world is still possible. Heidegger considers how a new rural rootedness would be possible and even desirable in the age of technology, non-nostalgically insisting that the rural world has the responsibility for bringing the natural world and traditional cultures to visibility for urban residents. The film and lectures address us, here and now, calling for an adequate response to both what is irrevocably lost and what continues to come forth.

Keywords:   Angels, Call, Film, Gift, Marion, Mortal existence, Response, Visibility, Wenders, Wings of Desire

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