Levinas Studies

ISSNs: 1554-7000, 2153-8433

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  1.  6
    Editors' Introduction.Peter Atterton & Sean Lawrence - 2022 - Levinas Studies 16 (1):1-6.
    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Editors’ Introduction“Between the Bible and the Philosophers”: ShakespearePeter Atterton (bio) and Sean Lawrence (bio)It is not clear when Levinas first read Shakespeare, but we do have some clues. The first complete translation of Shakespeare’s works into Russian, Levinas’s mother tongue, appeared between 1865 and 1868. These volumes doubtless graced the shelves of his family’s bookstore in Kovno (now Kaunas), in Lithuania, then part of the Russian empire. Kovno served (...)
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  2.  15
    Time and the Lover.Sean Lawrence - 2022 - Levinas Studies 16 (1):111-127.
    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 (...)
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  3.  12
    Levinas's Humanism of the Other and King Lear.Lisa S. Starks - 2022 - Levinas Studies 16:75-92.
    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 (...)
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  4.  8
    And Question This Most Bloody Piece of Work.Peter Atterton - 2022 - Levinas Studies 16:129-158.
    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 (...)
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  5.  10
    When Time Is Out of Joint.Tina Chanter - 2022 - Levinas Studies 16:11-37.
    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 (...)
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  6.  13
    Filiation and the Ethical Relationship.Pascale Drouet - 2022 - Levinas Studies 16:59-73.
    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 (...)
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  7.  6
    Levinas's Prison Notebooks, no. 7.Emmanuel Levinas, Peter Atterton & Sean Lawrence - 2022 - Levinas Studies 16:7-10.
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  8.  18
    The Tragedy of Tragedy.Eli Schonfeld - 2022 - Levinas Studies 16:39-57.
    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 (...)
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  9.  15
    The Origin of All Immorality.Tamra Wright - 2022 - Levinas Studies 16:93-109.
    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, (...)
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