For many, the unthinkable is something so horrible it does not bear thinking about. But if we turn to the ‘unthinkable’ in the literal sense, we find ourselves embracing the limit of thought, rather than being repelled by it. The poet Friedrich Hölderlin uses the term das Undekbare in order to convey the edges of understanding as ‘wandering beneath the unthinkable’ (Hölderlin 2009, p.327): wandering above, below and in between, Critical Poetics is concerned with how we write about those things that occupy the very limits of human understanding.


Friedrich Hölderlin, Essays and Letters (New York: Penguin, 2009)