In this thesis the genius aesthetic of Johann Gottfried Herder (1744-1803) is presented as being an important clue to the understanding of the work of Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) on the poet. Herder's failed project appears to account for Heidegger's retreat into the mystical when he formulates his own concept of the poet, even if Heidegger does not explicitly acknowledge this background. Heidegger's awareness of the failed genius aesthetic developed by Herder led him to develop his concept of the poet in such a way as to consciously avoid the problems inherent in Herder's theory. What appears to many as an irrational turn in Heidegger's thought is actually, in part, a consequence of a quite rational attempt to avoid the problems that Herder encountered.
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