“ Revisiting Steinbeck’s Littoral Phenomenology: Husserlian Elements in The Log from The ‘Sea of Cortez’”
In 2010, Analecta Husserliana published a paper I had presented for the International Society of Phenomenology, Fine Arts, and Aesthetics entitled “John Steinbeck’s Log from the ‘Sea of Cortez’: One of Husserl’s Infinite Tasks?” In this paper, I will continue an argument begun there, that in The Log from the “Sea of Cortez,” Steinbeck often speaks in a distinctively phenomenological voice. To substantiate my claim, I will focus on passages from the text that deal with cognitive sedimentation and parts and wholes, aligning them with passages in the Husserlian corpus to draw out their phenomenological character. The project will be useful in two ways: it will educe additional phenomenological moments in Steinbeck’s Log, and it will provide new and helpful examples from Steinbeck’s work to illustrate themes from Husserl’s own work. In the end, I hope the comparisons show that Steinbeck’s Log can reasonably be regarded as a littoral phenomenology.