French philosopher Luce Irigaray has become one of the twentieth century's most influential feminist thinkers. Among her many writings are three books (with a projected fourth) in which she challenges the Western tradition's construals of human beings' relations to the four elements—earth, air, fire, and water—and to nature. In answer to Heidegger's undoing of Western metaphysics as a "forgetting of Being," Irigaray seeks in this work to begin to think out the Being of sexedness and the sexedness of Being.
This volume is the first English translation of L'oubli de l'air chez Martin Heidegger (1983). In this complex, lyrical, meditative engagement with the later work of the eminent German philosopher, Irigaray critiques Heidegger's emphasis on the element of earth as the ground of life and speech and his "oblivion" or forgetting of air.
With the other volumes (Elemental Passions and Marine Lover of Friedrich Nietzsche, published elsewhere) in Irigaray's "elemental" series, The Forgetting of Air offers a fundamental rereading of basic tenets in Western metaphysics. And with its emphasis on dwelling and human habitation, it will be important reading not only in the humanities but also in architecture and the environmental sciences.
By Luce Irigaray
Luce Irigaray is the author of over twenty books, including Speculum of the Other Woman, This Sex Which Is Not One, and An Ethics of Sexual Difference.
Translator Mary Beth Mader holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin.