Distribution Automatique

Monday, August 16

from Kevin Hart interview
in *Verse*
vol 30 nos. 2 & 3

"'The limits beyond experience...' Since we've been talking about Heidegger,
I might be forgiven for indulging in a little bit of etymology. The word
'experience' comes from the Latin *experiri*, the radical of which is
*periri*. You find it in *periculum*, danger. If you go back to before
Latin, you come to the Indo-European root, *per*, which is used in all
sorts of words meaning 'travel' or 'test.' In Greek you find both *pera*,
'beyond,' and *peras*, 'limit.' Deep down, 'experience' speaks
of undertaking a journey, of being tested, perhaps of being exposed
to a limit. But it speaks of it as having already happened: one has had
experience when one survived a journey. For English speakers, experience
has already happened or is drawing to a close. We've had some experience,
thank you very much, and we're not sure we want any more of it. [Laughter.]
There's not that sense in the German *die Erfahrung*. So when Jungel talks
of *eine Ergahrung*, he's evoking a path that opens before us, one with its
own dangers, to be sure. Insofar as this experience opens before us,
reaches into the unknown, it might already contain the limits beyond what
we have experienced up till now."