By Lévinas, Emmanuel; Ĺevinas, Emmanuel; Appelbaum, David
Rejects Levinas’s argument for the preeminence of ethics in philosophy.
“Imagine listening at a keyhole to a talk with the duty of transcribing it, and the outcome could be a textual content just like the current one.” — from half I: Stagework
In a sequence of meditations responding to writings by means of Emmanuel Levinas, David Appelbaum means that a incorrect grammar warrants Levinas to converse of language on the carrier of ethics. it's the nature of functionality that he errors. Appelbaum articulates this flaw by way of acting in writing the act of the philosophical brain at paintings. Incorporating the voices of alternative thinkers—in specific Levinas’s contemporaries Jacques Derrida and Maurice Blanchot—sometimes sincerely, occasionally indistinctly, Appelbaum creates on those pages one of those soundstage upon which illustrations seem of what he phrases “a rhetorical aesthetic,” which might reestablish rhetoric, principles for giving voice—and now not ethics—as the right kind matrix for knowing the otherness and beyond-being that Levinas seeks in his paintings
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Extra info for A Propos, Levinas
As if ghosts intermittently emitted a low sound (wail, shriek, scream, cry, moan) to allow them to approach the hither side of presence. A low voice in the reader’s ear produced by the voice reading or voice‑reading, that operates a character‑recognition program to convert inscriptions to phonetic (in)audibles. The subject of ghost words casts a long shadow, impossible to follow at length, except to mention one important example in Levinas. In a work where ghosts abound (in the massive repression of myth that loosens persecution on the ethical subject), the small word “in” sits unno‑ ticed on the shelf were it not for a simple reference to it (OG, 63).
Or: the specter of peace disturbs thought. On the rim of a restful sleep, lying “with eyes wide open,” insomnia waits. A sheltered immediacy will not be possible tonight. There (if the word there resounds in the depths), an immediacy impressed upon the insomniac is as an awakening to sleepless‑ ness. It has to do with the critical scene, the scene of crisis, which for Levinas is determinate of one’s ethical role, “where nothing and no one can replace him” (OG, 24). The troubling delimits an irreplaceability in the psyche of one wakeful to the face of an otherness that adheres to an inner surface of the skin.
A matter outside the world (Heidegger’s “earth”), art “has consistency, weight, is absurd, is a brute but impassive presence; it is also what is humble, bare and ugly” (EE, 51). Qualities of bare being, indicative of its materiality (distinct from clas‑ sical materialism)—“thickness, coarseness, massivity, wretchedness”—are given form in art by art only to conceal the nakedness. These cannot be transcribed into proper discourse; for this reason, Plato excludes the poets from his Republic. An artwork is not a synthesis, is non‑dialectizable, and requires user‑language (to turn an ear to Blanchot) “to cease think‑ ing solely with a view toward unity, and to make the relations of words an essentially dissymmetrical field governed by discontinuity, as though, having renounced the uninterrupted force of a coherent discourse, it were a matter of drawing out a level of language where one might gain the power not only to express oneself in an intermittent manner, but also to allow intermittence itself to speak” (IC, 77–78).
A Propos, Levinas by Lévinas, Emmanuel; Ĺevinas, Emmanuel; Appelbaum, David