Heidegger’s Peasant Shoes?

While doing laundry at Central Coffee, I ran into a passage in “The Origin of the Work of Art” by Heidegger.

He compared peasant shoes with a well-known painting by Van Gogh of peasant shoes. He wrote of the shoes (and not the painting), “Everyone is acquainted with them.” (p. 32, “The Origin of the Work of Art,” in Poetry, Language, Thought) For my part, I had never seen peasant shoes, until I googled them:

peasant shoes

Then I took a look at Van Gogh’s famous paintings at these shoes:

shoes from 1887

Although I can see similarities between the peasant shoes from google and Van Gogh’s peasant shoes, I was surprised to learn that Van Gogh’s shoes were probably a pair of peddler’s shoes.

What are peasant shoes? Has anyone seen them since – at least in the English speaking world – there haven’t been any peasants for centuries?

Philosophy is difficult in a world without pith and constancy.

Update 18 July 2014 Thanks to a reader who goes by the moniker, Peasant Painter, for updating me and letting me know that the shoes below aren’t peasant shoes but ones used for Chinese foot binding.

foot binding shoes

Locked/Unlocked and Urban Mushrooms

What does it mean for something to be locked? What does it mean for it to be unlocked? Are we hampered by the duality of locked/unlocked, or is there something in between?


Locked
This photo demonstrates “locked” in Hayes Valley.

Unlocked
This photo demonstrates “unlocked” in Hayes Valley.

A close-up of unlocked

There is a paradox here that needs to be explored. Although the last two photos express unlocked-ness, a certain being-in-the-world will readily interpret the two photos as expressing the opposite: lockedness.

This sort of paradox can be seen when naturalness is seen in that which is unnatural. Note the urban mushrooms below:

Urban Mushrooms

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑