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Levinas Studies
Number of Followers: 1  
 
  Full-text available via subscription Subscription journal
ISSN (Print) 1554-7000 - ISSN (Online) 2153-8433
Published by Philosophy Documentation Center Homepage  [89 journals]
  • Editors' Introduction - "Between the Bible and Philosophers": Shakespeare

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      Authors: Peter Atterton;Sean Lawrence
      PubDate: Thu, 30 Mar 2023 16:37:52 GMT
       
  • Levinas's Prison Notebooks, no. 7 - On Shakespeare

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      Authors: Emmanuel Levinas;Peter Atterton;Sean Lawrence
      PubDate: Thu, 30 Mar 2023 16:37:52 GMT
       
  • When Time Is Out of Joint - Levinas on Shakespeare's Hamlet as a Theory of
           the Tragic Il y a

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      Authors: Tina Chanter
      Abstract: I argue that the il y a is intrinsically connected to Levinas’s understanding of the tragic, and that Levinas offers an original reading of Shakespearean tragedy that goes beyond traditional aesthetic conceptions of artistic and tragic form and breaks with ancient tragedy. The il y a is implicated in the limit moment Levinas encountered while in captivity, suspended from the world, when time was out of joint. Focusing on Hamlet, who some have argued represents a failure of aesthetic form, I suggest rather that in construing Hamlet as the tragedy that constitutes a reflection on the meaning of the tragic il y a, Levinas identifies Shakespeare’s originality as a tragedian by pointing to the ungraspability of the formless. For Levinas, the tragic lies not in death but in having to be. Levinas’s incipient theory of Shakespearean tragedy provides insight into the complex role art plays for Levinas.
      PubDate: Thu, 30 Mar 2023 16:37:52 GMT
       
  • The Tragedy of Tragedy - Levinas Reads Hamlet

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      Authors: Eli Schonfeld
      Abstract: The following paper analyzes the effect of the Shakespearean text—and Hamlet in particular—on Levinas’s thought. I argue that Levinas’s reading of Shakespeare’s Hamlet played a decisive role in one of the most crucial phenomenological debates to be found in the Levinasian text, namely, the debate with Heidegger on the meaning of death and on the object of Angst (anguish). Analyzing Levinas’s remarks on Hamlet in his philosophical text, this article demonstrates how Shakespeare inspires Levinas’s anti-Heideggerian thesis about anguish being anguish before eternity (and not anguish before death). Moreover, this article analyzes the Hecuba scene from the perspective of Levinas’s philosophy of substitution (where again Shakespeare occupies a central role), and tries to understand the situation of Shakespeare’s tragedy as being “beyond tragedy.”
      PubDate: Thu, 30 Mar 2023 16:37:52 GMT
       
  • Filiation and the Ethical Relationship - Lear Through the Lens of Levinas

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      Authors: Pascale Drouet
      Abstract: This article explores how Levinas’s analysis of family relations (paternity, filiality, fecundity, and maternity) and the ethical relationship to the other (requiring both a paradoxical process of separation and the aptitude to be ethically ordained) can retrospectively enlighten our understanding of King Lear. It first shows how, in the Shakespearean tragedy, Levinas’s ethical answer, “here I am,” cannot be dissociated from fearless speech, which becomes the manifestation of the ethical relationship to the other. It then focuses on the Levinasian paradox of “separation” as a prerequisite to the ethical relationship, and sees how this is radically distorted in the families presented in King Lear. It finally considers Levinas’s idea of maternity as a responsibility for others to the point of substitution, to questions the absence of mothers in King Lear and argue that the denouement of the tragedy can be regarded as a gender-reversed variation on the mater dolorosa motif.
      PubDate: Thu, 30 Mar 2023 16:37:52 GMT
       
  • Levinas's Humanism of the Other and King Lear

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      Authors: Lisa S. Starks
      Abstract: Levinas’s Humanism of the Other may be seen as a meditation of King Lear. His philosophy offers what a critique of traditional and modern anti-humanism urgently needs: an ethics that precedes being. It provides a necessary ethical foundation needed to investigate questions of the human and humanity that Shakespeare examines so thoroughly in this powerful tragedy. Prefiguring Levinas’s later philosophy, Shakespeare dramatizes this humanism of the other through the suffering and vulnerability of the body. Lear’s and Gloucester’s parallel journeys are both grounded in this vulnerability of the body and fragility of the mind that lead them to a humanism of the other. Moreover, the ethical good that precedes ontology, the saying, is profoundly staged through the characters of Cordelia and Edgar. This vision of King Lear, therefore, underlies and informs Levinas’s radical critique of traditional humanism and contemporary anti-humanism in his insistence on a humanism of the other.
      PubDate: Thu, 30 Mar 2023 16:37:52 GMT
       
  • "The Origin of All Immorality" - The Scandal of Theodicy in The Merchant
           of Venice

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      Authors: Tamra Wright
      Abstract: Although Levinas did not write about The Merchant of Venice, recent scholarship has explored Levinasian themes in the play. However, most of The Merchant instantiates not Levinasian ethics per se, but the cultural and other forces that work against ethics. In particular, theodicy, which Levinas sees as morally scandalous, is deployed by Christian characters to justify their ill-treatment of Shylock. A surface reading of the play would suggest that it is structured around clear binaries, with Christian “mercy” juxtaposed to legalistic, vengeful Jewish “justice.” However, a more nuanced reading, particularly one informed by Levinas’s philosophy, reveals ways in which Shakespeare seems to call these distinctions into question, and uncovers two genuinely ethical moments in the play: Shylock’s “Hath not a Jew eyes'” speech, and his implied, biblically informed critique of the treatment of slaves by Christians in Venetian society.
      PubDate: Thu, 30 Mar 2023 16:37:52 GMT
       
  • Time and the Lover - Romeo and Juliet

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      Authors: Sean Lawrence
      Abstract: Levinas has little to say about Romeo and Juliet, unlike some other plays by Shakespeare, but it nevertheless reflects his philosophy. In keeping with his phenomenology of eros, the title characters form a relationship which does not extend to the third party, and instead retreat into what Levinas calls the “dual solitude” of lovers. Romeo and Juliet form a closed community which excludes the rest of the fictive world of Verona, its loyalties and its laws. They even withdraw from the temporality of their fictive world, into the atemporality of art and idolatry, frozen in the statues which their grieving parents offer to raise in their memories and in the story of which they are protagonists.
      PubDate: Thu, 30 Mar 2023 16:37:52 GMT
       
  • "And Question This Most Bloody Piece of Work" - A Levinasian Analysis of
           Macbeth

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      Authors: Peter Atterton
      Abstract: This article surveys the numerous philosophical themes Levinas attributes to Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Detailed discussions are provided of the face as the temptation to commit violence and its prohibition, of the there is as the impossibility of an exit from existence, of the foundational role of con­science in ethics, and of the nature of the tragic hero who seeks to postpone the inevitability of death. I argue that it is only by treating the face as in some sense provoking violence can we hope to understand how the character Macbeth finds it possible to murder Duncan while looking him in the face. This reading requires us to see him as ethically ambivalent, as one might expect from a play in which “nothing is but what is not.” The essay concludes with a brief reflection on why Macbeth manages to evoke our pity, even though we know him to be a murderer.
      PubDate: Thu, 30 Mar 2023 16:37:52 GMT
       
  • About the Contributors

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      PubDate: Thu, 30 Mar 2023 16:37:52 GMT
       
 
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