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Estetika: The Central European Journal of Aesthetics


Issue no.2 /2010


Publisher:

Ústav dějin umění Akademie věd České republiky

  Address: Katedra estetiky, Celetná 20
Praha (116 42), Czech Republic
  Phone: + 420 221 619 619
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  eMail: aesthetics@ff.cuni.cz

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 Articles 
    
Content    
Images and Shadows: Levinas and the Ambiguity of the Aesthetic    
Translated Title: Images and Shadows: Levinas and the Ambiguity of the Aesthetic
Publication: Estetika: The Central European Journal of Aesthetics (2/2010)
Author Name: Staehler, Tanja;
Language: English
Subject: Philosophy
Issue: 2/2010
Page Range: 123-143
No. of Pages: 21
File size: 163 KB
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Summary: Levinas’s comments on art appear contradictory. On the one hand, he criticizes art as
being disengaged from ethical concerns and constituting a possibility of moral evasion;
on the other hand, he engages quite closely and in a supportive fashion with some art,
such as Paul Celan’s poetry. Interpreters commonly argue that only one of Levinas’s
conceptions of art, either the affirmative or the negative, represents his true attitude
towards art. In this article the author seeks to make both statements compatible with
each other and thus relevant to Levinas’s conception of art. She focuses on his essay
‘Reality and Its Shadow’, where art is diagnosed as an ambiguous phenomenon. She
argues that full understanding of the ambiguity of art demands that Levinas’s different
statements about art are considered together; only thus can the complete picture of the
ambiguity emerge. Furthermore, it turns out that the very same feature which makes art
open to misunderstanding – namely, its precarious materiality – also allows an artwork to
sustain itself and to be revived. Art reveals a shadow, withdrawal, or resistance that
belongs to reality itself.
Keywords: Levinas E.; Celan P.; the aesthetic; ethics; art; ambiguity of art
Perspektive, Symbol und symbolische Form. Zum Verhältnis Cassirer – Panofsky    
Carl Heinrich Seibts Prager Vorlesungen aus den Schönen Wissenschaften.Zu den Anfängen der universitären Ästhetik in Böhmen    
Die Lehren einer Fußnote.Die Wirkung der Ästhetik- und Gesellschaftstheorie von Burke auf die Ästhetikkonzeption von A. G. Szerdahely    
Karol Kuzmány: On Beauty    
The Aesthetic Dimension of Visual Culture (conference report)    
The Third ‘Beauty, Landscape, and Nature’ Conference: ‘The Forest: The Environment from an Aesthetic Point of View’ (conference report)    
The 2010 Annual Conference of the European Society for Aesthetics (conference report)    
Artistic Revolutions: The 38th International Colloquium of the Slovenian Society of Aesthetics (conference report)    
Lubomír Doležel. Possible Worlds of Fiction and History: The Postmodern Stage (review)