Off the Beaten Track [Holzwege]

by Martin Heidegger

The future human being is about to experience a contestation of the nature and history of Western metaphysics. Only in this contemplation, the transition to the planetary Dasein of man will be accomplished and this world-historical Dasein will be attainable as a grounded one.
Holzwege constitutes attempts of such contemplation. Outwardly, they present themselves as a collection of lectures about things that bear no relation to one another.
Thought of the matter as such, everything is in a hidden and strictly constructed harmony.
None of the paths is to be taken unless the others have been trodden. In their unity, they show a piece of the way of thinking that the author has meanwhile tried to pursue since Being and Time.

They are going astray.
But they do not lose their way.


Translation (by Manuela Koelke) of Martin Heidegger, “Holzwege,” in: Aus der Erfahrung des Denkens. 1910-1976. Gesamtausgabe Band 13. Klostermann, Frankfurt a.M., 1983, p. 91.

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