Levinas’s Language

  • William Edelglass
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 85)

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Notes

  1. 1.
    These words are quoted by Levinas in Proper Names, Michael B. Smith (trans.) (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996), p. 42. For an English translation of this line from Celan’s “The Meridian,” see Paul Celan, Collected Prose, Rosemarie Waldrop (trans.) (New York: The Sheep Meadow Press, 1986), p. 52. For the original German see Paul Celan, Gesammelte Werke (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1983), Vol. 3, p. 200.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Scheler’s nuanced phenomenological treatment of fellow-feeling in The Nature of Sympathy remains, as Paul Ricouer notes, “unequaled”: Ricoeur, Oneself as Another, Kathleen Blamey (trans.) (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992), p. 192.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    See Rousseau’s Emile or On Education, Book IV.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    William James, Habit (New York, 1890), p. 63; quoted in Norman Fiering, “Irresistible Compassion: An Aspect of Eighteenth-Century Sympathy and Humanitarianism,” Journal of the History of Ideas, 37: (1976): 213.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
  6. 6.
    Emmanuel Levinas, Totality and Infinity, Alphonso Lingis (trans.) (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1969), p. 204; Totalité et Infini (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1961), p. 224; hereafter cited in the text as TI followed by the page number, and TeI followed by the page number.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Emmanuel Levinas, “Reality and Its Shadow,” in The Levinas Reader, Seán Hand (ed.). (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1989), pp. 130–43; hereafter cited in the text as LR followed by the page number.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    This critique will be echoed in Merleau-Ponty’s 1952 discussion of classical perspective: “The whole scene is in the mode of the completed or of eternity... Things no longer call upon me to answer, and I am no longer compromised by them... Perspective... is the invention of a world dominated and possessed through and through by an instantaneous synthesis.” Maurice Merleau-Ponty, “Indirect Language and the Voices of Silence,” in The Merleau-Ponty Aesthetics Reader: Philosophy and Painting, Michael B. Smith (trans.) (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1993), p. 87.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Emmanuel Levinas, Otherwise Than Being or Beyond Essence, A. Lingis (trans.) (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1998), p 29; Autrement qu’être ou au-delaÁ de l’essence (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1974), p. 52; hereafter cited in the text as OB followed by the page number, and AU followed by the page number. For a further discussion of Levinas’s critique of the aesthetic, see Jill Robbins, “Aesthetic Totality and Ethical Infinity,” in Altered Reading: Levinas and Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999), pp. 75–90.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Jacques Derrida, “Violence and Metaphysics,” in Writing and Difference, Alan Bass (trans.) (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978), p. 312.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ibid., p. 125.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    See Emmanuel Levinas, Difficult Freedom: Essays on Judaism, Seán Hand (trans.) (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997) p. 295; Difficile Liberté (Paris: Albin Michel, 1976), p. 412; also Emmanuel Levinas, Entre Nous: Thinking-of-the-Other, Michael B. Smith and Barbara Harshav (trans.) (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998), p. 197; Entre Nous: Essais sur le penser-à-l’autre (Paris: Grasset, 1991), pp. 231–32; hereafter cited in the text as EN followed by the page number, and en followed by the page number.Google Scholar
  13. 14.
    Emmanuel Levinas, Proper Names, Michael B. Smith (trans.) (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996), p. 46; hereafter cited in the text as P N followed by the page number.Google Scholar
  14. 15.
    Jill Robbins, in what is the most systematic and careful scholarship on Levinas’s relationship to art, literature, and the poetic, describes his characterization of these particular poets as “Exceptions” to the otherwise problematic discourse of poetry. Jill Robbins, Altered Reading, pp. 132–54.Google Scholar
  15. 16.
    Levinas, “Poetry and Resurrection: Notes on Agnon,” in Proper Names, pp. 7–16.Google Scholar
  16. 17.
    Levinas, “The Poet’s Vision,” in Proper Names, pp. 127–39; “The Servant and Her Master,” in Proper Names, pp.140–49; “A Conversation with André Dalmas,” in Proper Names, pp. 150–55; “Exercises on the ‘Madness of the Day,’” in Proper Names, pp. 156–70.Google Scholar
  17. 18.
    Levinas, “Paul Celan: From Being to the Other,” in Proper Names, pp. 40–46.Google Scholar
  18. 19.
    Levinas, “Edmond Jabès Today,” in Proper Names, pp. 63–65.Google Scholar
  19. 20.
    Levinas, “The Transcendence of Words: On Michel Leiris’s Biffures,” in Outside the Subject, trans Michael B. Smith (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1993), pp. 144–50.Google Scholar
  20. 21.
    Levinas, “The Other in Proust,” in Proper Names, 99–105.Google Scholar
  21. 23.
    Travis Anderson, “Drawing upon Levinas to Sketch out a Heterotopic Poetics of Art and Tragedy,” Research in Phenomenology 24 (1994): 92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 25.
    See Lingis’s comments on altering Levinas’s original grammar in his introduction to Otherwise Than Being, p. xliv.Google Scholar
  23. 26.
    Seán Hand, “The other voice: ethics and expression in Emmanuel Levinas,” History of the Human Sciences, 10:3 (1997): 64.Google Scholar
  24. 27.
    David Michael Levin, “Tracework: Myself and Others in the Moral Phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty and Levinas,” International Journal of Philosophical Studies 6 (1998): 387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 28.
  26. 29.
    Arthur Schopenhauer, On the Basis of Morality, trans E. F. J. Payne (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1965), p. 144.Google Scholar
  27. 30.
    See Otherwise Than Being and “Useless Suffering”.Google Scholar
  28. 31.
    Emmanuel Levinas, Ethics and Infinity, Richard Cohen (trans.) (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1985), pp. 119–20; Éthique et Infini (Paris: Fayard, 1982), pp. 118–19.Google Scholar
  29. 32.
    Emmanuel Levinas, Collected Philosophical Papers, Alphonso Lingis (trans.) (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1998), p. 146.Google Scholar
  30. 33.
    See Jean-Françoise Lyotard, “Levinas’ Logic,” in Face to Face with Levinas, Richard Cohen (ed.) (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1986), pp. 117–58.Google Scholar
  31. 34.
    D. H. Brody, “Emmanuel Levinas: The Logic of Ethical Ambiguity in Otherwise Than Being or Beyond Essence,” Research In Phenomenology, 25 (1995): 177–203.Google Scholar
  32. 35.
    Krzysztof Ziarek, Inflected Language: Toward a Hermeneutics of Nearness: Heidegger, Levinas, Stevens, Celan (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994), p. 99.Google Scholar
  33. 36.
    Jean-Françoise Lyotard, “Levinas’ Logic,” in Face to Face with Levinas, p. 122; Jan de Greef, “Skepticism and Reason” in Face to Face with Levinas, p. 171–72. Brody, “Emmanuel Levinas: The Logic of Ethical Ambiguity in Otherwise Than Being or Beyond Essence” 189–90; Y. A. Kang, “Levinas on Suffering and Solidarity,” Tijdschrift voor Filosofie 59 (1997): 497; et al. Google Scholar
  34. 37.
    Theodore de Boer, “An Ethical Transcendental Philosophy,” in Face to Face with Levinas, p. 93.Google Scholar
  35. 38.
    Levin, “Tracework,” p. 345.Google Scholar
  36. 39.
    Paul Ricoeur employs the term ‘hyperbole’ to describe Levinas’s idiosyncratic style. See Ricoeur, Oneself as Another, pp. 337–40.Google Scholar
  37. 40.
    David Michael Levin employs the term ‘inscription’ to emphasize that Levinas’s language is intended to address us in our bodies and emotions as well as our thoughts; Levin, “Tracework,” p. 383.Google Scholar
  38. 41.
    Derrida, Writing and Difference, p. 312.Google Scholar
  39. 42.
    Levin, “Tracework,” p. 383.Google Scholar
  40. 43.
  41. 44.
    In “Violence and Metaphysics” Derrida questions Levinas’s hard distinction between his non-philosophical or religious, writings, and his philosophical work. According to Jill Robbins, “the distinction between the philosophical and the nonphilosophical writing is not absolute. It breaks down, in any case, after 1975 with the publication of Of God Who Comes to Mind. Even before 1975, there are decisive indications in his philosophical work that his ethical thought takes inspiration from the Hebrew tradition.” Jill Robbins, Altered Reading, p. xvi.Google Scholar
  42. 45.
    See “Useless Suffering”.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Edelglass
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyColby CollegeWatervilleUSA

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