David Farrell Krell reflects on nine writers and philosophers, including Heidegger, Derrida, Blanchot, and Holderlin, in a personal exploration of the meaning of sensual love, language, tragedy, and death. The moon provides a unifying image that guides Krell's development of a new poetics in which literature and philosophy become one.
Krell pursues important philosophical motifs such as time, rhythm, and desire, through texts by Nietzsche, Trakl, Empedocles, Kafka, and Garcia Marquez. He surveys instances in which poets or novelists explicitly address philosophical questions, and philosophers confront literary texts—Heidegger's and Derrida's appropriations of Georg Trakl's poetry, Blanchot's obsession with Kafka's tortuous love affairs, and Garcia Marquez's use of Nietzsche's idea of the Eternal Return—all linked by the tragic hero Empedocles.
In his search to understand the insatiable desire for completeness that patterns so much art and philosophy, Krell investigates the identification of the lunar voice with woman in various roles—lover, friend, sister, shadow, and narrative voice.