Ethical Issues in Twentieth-Century French Fiction: Killing - download pdf or read online

By Colin Davis (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0230287476

ISBN-13: 9780230287471

ISBN-10: 1349407496

ISBN-13: 9781349407491

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Extra resources for Ethical Issues in Twentieth-Century French Fiction: Killing the Other

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14 The Talmud, in the tradition to which Levinas claims allegiance, is a text with divine authority, though no commentator can achieve definitive understanding of it; it con- Hermeneutic and Ethical Encounters 39 tains multiple, even contradictory meanings because the word of God cannot be translated directly into the human idiom. In Audela du verset, and particularly in the essay 'De la lecture juive des Ecritures', Levinas comes close to suggesting that the absolute alterity encountered in the Talmud may also be found in all language and all texts.

22 But in the 1940s at least, Levinas's views are uncompromising; and those views are never straightforwardly retracted in his later writing. As Robbins puts it in reference to Totalite et infini, for Levinas 'poetry is described as and aligned with everything that ethics must struggle against'. 23 Poetry, which stands for art in general in Levinas's writing, is an ethical scandal; and I suspect, reading the overwhelmingly hostile language of 'La Realite et son ombre', that Levinas himself did not fully understand the reasons for his opposition to art.

Malraux's altericidal scene anticipates the reflection on the 28 Ethical Issues in French Fiction power and powerlessness of the Other undertaken on a theoretical level by Levinas in his postwar writings, culminating in Totalite et infini: others may be killed but the Other is inviolable, it is infinitely weak but also imperious, it is the object of all violence but it cannot be destroyed (215-20). The resistance with which it opposes my display of force reveals my own weakness and exacerbates my hostility.

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Ethical Issues in Twentieth-Century French Fiction: Killing the Other by Colin Davis (auth.)


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