Levinas Studies 13:191-208 (2019)

Authors
Kaitlyn Newman
Pennsylvania State University
Abstract
In his early essay, “Reality and Its Shadow,” Levinas appears to take a strong position against art, and while the strength of his admonitions against aesthetics has been questioned, the fact remains that Levinas refers to art as an act that is like “feasting during a plague.” Art becomes offensive. However, is it possible that we could imagine the artwork as a site where the encounter with the Other becomes possible? That is, when we encounter certain artworks, do we not also encounter the radical alterity of one whose experiences and very existence cannot possibly be assimilated to the Same, or to our own experiences? In this paper, I argue that art marks a site where the encounter with the Other is made possible by examining the post-genocide and post-war photographs of Simon Norfolk. I maintain that art thus contains ethical possibilities that actually align with Levinasian ethics, rather than run counter to it, as Levinas seemed to believe. This art cannot be understood through the lens of enjoyment—as “feasting during a plague”—but rather must be understood as an experience which throws us outside of ourselves and our interiority and, in so doing, forces us to confront an alterity and a horror that awakens responsibility and awareness of the Other.
Keywords Continental Philosophy  Major Philosophers  Philosophy and Religion
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.5840/levinas2019138
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,657
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Levinas on Art and Aestheticism.Richard A. Cohen - 2016 - Levinas Studies 11:149-194.
A Holy Aesthetic in Advance.Pamela Carralero - forthcoming - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy.
A Holy Aesthetic.Pamela Carralero - 2018 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 22 (2):505-522.
Aesth-Ethics: Levinas, Plato, and Art.Silvia Benso - 2008 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 13 (1):163-183.
Levinas and the Photographic Undergone.John Hunting - 2015 - Philosophy of Photography 6 (1):73-82.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Consuming Christ.Laura M. Hartman - 2010 - Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 30 (1):45-62.
The 'Face' of the Il y A: Levinas and Blanchot on Impersonal Existence.Kris Sealey - 2013 - Continental Philosophy Review 46 (3):431-448.
Levinas Separates the Man From the Nonman, Using Hunger, Enjoyment and Anxiety to Illuminate Their Relationship.Angela Hirst - 2007 - Cosmos and History : The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 3 (1):159-190.
Thucydides and the Plague: A Footnote.J. C. F. Poole & A. J. Holladay - 1982 - Classical Quarterly 32 (1):235-236.
Thucydides and the Plague: A Footnote.J. C. F. Poole & A. J. Holladay - 1982 - Classical Quarterly 32 (01):235-.
The Primacy of Disruption in Levinas Account of Transcendence.Kris Sealey - 2010 - Research in Phenomenology 40 (3):363-377.
Addressing Levinas.Eric Sean Nelson, Antje Kapust & Kent Still (eds.) - 2005 - Northwestern University Press.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2020-08-13

Total views
9 ( #933,252 of 2,462,325 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #119,518 of 2,462,325 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes