Six Scenes of Instruction in Stanley Cavell's Little Did I Know

Philosophy and Literature 40 (2):465-479 (2016)
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Stanley Cavell ends his autobiography with a long stretch of dialogue at his elderly, ailing father’s hospital bedside. His father, we know from the memoir’s earliest and most powerful pages, could be a brutish man, prone to unaccountable rages, permanently scarring the child Cavell. Because of the central role the father plays in beginning the story, Cavell’s decision to return to his father at the end demands close attention. The reader arriving at the final pages, still haunted by the way the young Cavell was treated by his father and realizing that the book will end here, expects some kind of closure. Cavell encourages that expectation by giving the final two pages the subheading “To put away—perhaps not to...



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