Thursday, June 23, 2016

for infinity lovers! a levinasian definition


Emmanuel Levinas has a difficult language, in a way as oracular as Heidegger, as obscurely atavistic as Rosenzweig (both important influences on his thought).
... in the trace of illeity, in the enigma, the synchronism falls out of tune, the totality transcended in another time. This extravagant movement of going beyond being toward an immemorial antiquity we call infinity.
the quote resonates with music counterpoint, history, ontology, ethics, and poesy. there's more:

"the trace of illeity" (in late Levinas, illeity is a kind of purveyor of being's alterity)
"synchronism falls out of tune" (interesting musical comparison: Levinas favors diachrony over synchronicity, i.e., present-bounded time is limited)
"totality transcended in another time" (before chronological time. This is not a  prehistory, i.e., before the written record), on the other hand, "totality in another time," seems redundant, unless one knows that Levinas refers to diachronic time as irrecuperable.
"going beyond being" (jab at the early Heidegger of Being and Time)
"immemorial antiquity" (unrepresentable in chronological egological memory?)
"infinity" for levinas is dense, a cipher for open-ended super set.

4 comments:

Robert Linsley said...

Alfredo, do you read Rosenzweig?

Alfredo Triff said...

sure. i'm a rozenzweig fan. good to hear from you robert!

Robert Linsley said...

Good to connect with you.

I bought the book years ago - decades ago - had to special order from a religious bookstore - part of my research into Benjamin - which also included Lukacs' Soul and Form - but never read it. Couldn't get into it. But everything becomes "a thing" eventually.

Going to restart the blog.

You should check out The New Centre for Research and Practice. You might find it sympatico. Some political artsy types who have got me following Facebook, of all things.

Alfredo Triff said...

i'm glad you're back in business! i enjoyed your blog.
yes, i'll check your suggestion.
thanks, robert