Thomas Meaney’s LRB review of The Tyranny of Greece over Germany, by E.M. Butler (a reprint of her influential 1935 attack on the German worship of Ancient Greece), discusses various German Hellenists; I particularly enjoyed this brief takedown of Heidegger:
No philosopher besides Nietzsche mentioned the Greeks more often in his works, and no one else made such peculiar use of them. He believed the Greek language had privileged access to the nature of reality as it was before its wholeness was fractured by the travesty of Socratic rationalism. He attributed near talismanic properties to certain Greek words – aletheia, noein, legein – and used Greek vocabulary and grammar as tools to displace a modernity that had forgotten the nature of Being. If Germans could cast off 2400 years of error, he suggested, they might find a way back to Being through their own language, using the buried grammar of the Greeks as a guide. Like a Christian preacher parsing the gospels, Heidegger preferred fragments to whole works, and single words to fragments. For him, a word like aletheia contained the hidden sense of knowledge as unforgettingness, something the Romantic poets had intuited. ‘Heidegger’s Greeks do not so much compose literary or philosophical texts,’ the classicist Glenn Most has written, ‘as rather simply enounce to one another these primal philosophical terms. They look at one another, say phusis, and nod slowly.’
I’m sure someone who knows more about philosophy than I do will tell me this is terribly unfair, but I confess I don’t really care. Se non è vero, è ben trovato.