The article deals with the notion of the “Creature” as being displayed in Joseph Wittig’s essay titled Der Weg zur Kreatur. This piece by Wittig (1879–1949), one of the co-founders of the journal Die Kreatur, himself a banished Catholic thinker, an excommunicated theologian, was published in the third volume of the journal in 1929/1930. The major argument to be presented here, following Wittig’s essay, concerns the path (but also the method) into the world of the creature, namely, the way-back, a regression, which depends on counter-movements, suspensions, gestures of recollection and witnessing. This path is based on the potentialities of the “first question” – a demand for the first word, a proper name for the silent, forgotten creature, being invited to encounter. The encounter with the creatures is a method of thinking, a way of being in this world that is based on the possibility of asking rightly the “first question”. For what this question performs is an attention, hearing of, a method of listening. In asking the question of (and for) the creature, language itself turns toward the world of the creation, in a search for a proper name, calling creation to be heard, to belong.
Naharaim is a peer-reviewed journal of the Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Centre at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It is devoted to current research in philosophical, literary, and historical aspects of German-Jewish culture. The contributions are mainly in German or English.