Journal & Issues

Volume 33 (2022): Issue 1 (September 2022)

Volume 32 (2021): Issue 1 (December 2021)

Volume 31 (2021): Issue 1 (October 2021)

Volume 30 (2020): Issue 1 (December 2020)

Volume 29 (2019): Issue 1 (December 2019)

Volume 28 (2018): Issue 1 (October 2018)

Volume 27 (2018): Issue 1 (April 2018)

Volume 26 (2017): Issue 1 (October 2017)

Volume 25 (2012): Issue 1 (October 2012)

Volume 24 (2012): Issue 1 (April 2012)

Volume 22-23 (2011): Issue 1 (October 2011)

Volume 20-21 (2010): Issue 1 (October 2010)

Volume 18-19 (2009): Issue 1 (October 2009)

Volume 16-17 (2008): Issue 1 (October 2008)

Volume 15 (2008): Issue 1 (April 2008)

Volume 14 (2007): Issue 1 (April 2007)

Volume 13 (2007): Issue 1 (October 2007)

Volume 12 (2006): Issue 1 (October 2006)

Volume 11 (2006): Issue 1 (April 2006)

Volume 10 (2005): Issue 1 (October 2005)

Volume 9 (2004): Issue 1 (October 2004)

Volume 8 (2004): Issue 1 (April 2004)

Volume 7 (2003): Issue 1 (October 2003)

Volume 5-6 (2003): Issue 1 (April 2003)

Volume 4 (2002): Issue 1 (October 2002)

Volume 3 (2001): Issue 1 (October 2001)

Volume 2 (2001): Issue 1 (April 2001)

Volume 1 (2000): Issue 1 (October 2000)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2183-0142
First Published
20 Dec 2020
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

Volume 32 (2021): Issue 1 (December 2021)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2183-0142
First Published
20 Dec 2020
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

9 Articles
Open Access

Introduction: Phenomenology and Literature

Published Online: 17 May 2021
Page range: 5 - 14

Abstract

Open Access

Phénoménologies « de » la littérature – phénomène, imagination, fictions littéraires

Published Online: 17 May 2021
Page range: 15 - 68

Abstract

Abstract

This paper intends to offer a first sketch of a pluralist account of contemporary phenomenologies “of” literature. It does so (1) by distinguishing two phenomenological “families” — hermeneutical phenomenology and constitutive phenomenology —, illustrated by two different authors — Ricœur and Husserl —, each of which relies on a distinctive account of the notion of “phenomenon”— qua hidden entity providing the ground for what shows itself first and foremost, and qua intended unity of a multiplicity of conscious experiences —; (2) by fleshing out the two conceptions of “imagination” — productive imagination and phantasia — these accounts of the “phenomenon” give rise to; and finally, (3) by underlining the way in which these two phenomenological accounts lead to alternative ways of apprehending the specific phenomenon of fictional imagination — narrative literary imagination vs. reproductive phantasia of the narrative work — thus specifying two relevant senses in which the tasks of a “phenomenology of literature” could be understood. Such a complex path should enable us to justify the following claim: while hermeneutical phenomenology “of” literature aims at uncovering literature itself as a form of phenomenology, a constitutive phenomenology “of” literature rather understands its task as a way to clarify the fundamental concepts of a whole host of theoretical and practical disciplines about literature. Hence the ambiguity of the genitive “phenomenology of literature”, which could be read either as ascribing phenomenology to literature itself (subjective genitive), or as turning phenomenology towards literature (objective genitive). In its conclusion, this paper will tentatively assess the resources of a Husserl-inspired constitutive phenomenology of literature.

Keywords

  • phenomenology
  • literature
  • imagination
  • Husserl
  • Ricœur
Open Access

Virtuality and Truth. On Literature in Merleau-Ponty’s Indirect Ontology

Published Online: 17 May 2021
Page range: 69 - 84

Abstract

Abstract

This paper aims to investigate the importance of literature in Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s reflections concerning two strictly connected phenomenological themes: 1) the virtuality of objects and of existence itself; 2) the genesis of truth and the intuition of essences. According to Merleau-Ponty, modern novelists have adopted a phenomenological method: instead of ‘explaining’ the world through words, they ‘show’ the lifeworld and its paradoxes indirectly. In his view, and against Jean-Paul Sartre’s position, analyzing literature means developing a theory integrating perception and the imagination. Moreover, at the beginning of the 1950’s, this perspective led Merleau-Ponty to a deep revision of the Sartrian concepts of spontaneity and engagement in literary practice in favour of a theory of expression as style. As a conclusion, the paper argues for the key-role of literature in Merleau-Ponty’s indirect ontology as a way of rediscovering unity and harmony behind the metamorphosis of reality.

Keywords

  • Virtuality
  • Truth
  • Literature
  • Maurice Merleau-Ponty
  • Jean-Paul Sartre
Open Access

Phenomenology and the Transformation of the Modern Novel

Published Online: 17 May 2021
Page range: 85 - 98

Abstract

Abstract

This article examines in what way and to what extent phenomenological philosophy has given rise to a new understanding of the modern novel and to a transformation of its narrative techniques. The starting point for this examination is the claim, made by Merleau-Ponty in “Metaphysics and the Novel”, according to which, in phenomenological philosophy, the task of philosophy is inextricably bound to that of literature. I examine this claim in two ways. First, I situate it historically with regard to the modern novel’s characteristic realism. Then, I show how the phenomenological attitude – formulated by Husserl as a methodological device in distinction with the natural attitude – transforms the novel’s narrative technics. Sartre’s first novel, La Nausée, constitutes an exemplary case to assess this transformation. Combining these two ways, I argue that the claim made by Merleau-Ponty is paradoxical: on the one hand, the intrinsic connection between phenomenological philosophy and literature promotes the cognitive value of the modern novel, but on the other hand, it breaks with the conventions of the novel form and initiates a fragmented writing.

Keywords

  • Phenomenological attitude
  • existence
  • narrative techniques
  • realism
  • Sartre
Open Access

The contribution of “time novels” to a phenomenology of temporality. Thomas Mann, Martin Heidegger, and our experience of time

Published Online: 17 May 2021
Page range: 99 - 117

Abstract

Abstract

This paper insists on similarities between Heidegger’s presentation of Dasein’s authentic understanding of time in Being and Time (§§ 79-80) and Thomas Mann’s attempts to “narrate time itself” in The Magic Mountain. It shows that Thomas Mann’s temporal experiments can contribute to a phenomenology of temporality, not merely by “illustrating” philosophical theses, but also by achieving something that goes beyond any phenomenological consideration on time: the enactment of fundamental temporal experiences.

Keywords

  • Martin Heidegger
  • Thomas Mann
  • temporality
  • narrative
Open Access

L’inépuisabilité de l’œuvre littéraire: Réflexion autour de L’œuvre ouverte de Umberto Eco

Published Online: 17 May 2021
Page range: 119 - 163

Abstract

Abstract

This paper focuses on the main claim of Umberto Eco’s Open Work, according to which any work of art is an inherently ambiguous message, i.e. is inexhaustible, or in principle likely to be the object of an infinite number of interpretations. It does so, first, by restricting itself to the specific topic of the literary work of art, and, secondly, by making a detour, that Eco himself suggests, though he does not really explore it, via Sartre’s ontological phenomenology. This detour will eventually lead the reader from Being and Nothingness to What is Literature?; from Sartre’s “theory of the phenomenon” to his description of the poetic and prosaic attitude; and from a theory of literature qua ambiguity-inexhaustibility to that of openness qua esthetic phenomenon. Finally, it is the capacity of Sartre’s phenomenology to ultimately clarify, or provide a foundation to, Eco’s own theory, as well as the latter’s originality with regard to the former, that will be studied and accounted for.

Keywords

  • Eco
  • Sartre
  • phenomenology
  • literature
  • interpretation
Open Access

Le roman entre inachèvement et clôture

Published Online: 17 May 2021
Page range: 165 - 183

Abstract

Abstract

The novel gives us access to fictional universes in a fundamentally unfinished mode, which allows the reader to give free rein to his or her imagination, in a freedom that is nevertheless monitored and controlled by rules. This article tries to understand the nature of this incompleteness, by discussing some classical readings. How does this specific dimension of fiction relate to Umberto Eco’s concept of the “open work” or to the idea, developed by the phenomenologist Roman Ingarden, that literary works are “schemas” destined to be “concretized” in the consciousness of the reader? How does Hans Robert Jauss’s aesthetics of reception help us to think about the incompleteness of the work in the proper time of its different readings? Through the fruitful dialogue of these different theories, it is a question of highlighting two important points. First, these theories, while discussing the respective roles of the author and the reader, neglect a a third character who is nevertheless essential to the fictional narrative, the narrator. However, taking into account the latter sheds light on the problems encountered. Secondly, this relationship between the incompleteness of the narrative and the narrator’s position is not in itself specific to fiction. It is not absent from scientific texts, when they are thought of as narratives about reality susceptible of different readings in their history.

Keywords

  • Fiction
  • roman
  • narrateur
  • lecture
  • Umberto Eco
  • Roman Ingarden
  • Hans Robert Jauss
  • concrétisation
Open Access

On the Phenomenon of Literary Empathy

Published Online: 17 May 2021
Page range: 185 - 196

Abstract

Abstract

In this paper, drawing on Husserl, as well as on certain other phenomenologists such as Merleau-Ponty and Richir, I claim that the phenomenon of the apprehension of the perspectives and emotions of literary characters deserves to be called literary empathy. In order to support this claim, I’ll firstly argue that empathy is principally an act of presentification closely related with perception, memory and imagination. Secondly, I’ll argue that literary empathy with literary characters is an imaginative reproduction of the reader’s bodily sedimentations under the instruction offered by the literary text. Thirdly, I’ll argue that through literary empathy, a reader forms a peculiar intersubjective link with the literary character. The subjects in play are thus the real existential “I” and the imagined Other. Asymmetry of existence-positing and lack of interaction do not prevent the imagined characters from exerting an effective influence upon the reader and reconfiguring her actual life.

Keywords

  • imagination
  • empathy
  • presentification
  • fiction
  • bodily sedimentation
Open Access

Ingarden and Derrida on empty space in literature

Published Online: 17 May 2021
Page range: 197 - 208

Abstract

Abstract

This article undertakes a comparative study of Ingarden and Derrida in regards to literature. It is being shown that the former’s concepts of ‘spots of indeterminacy’ and ‘empty spots’ resemble the latter’s notions of ‘spacing’ and ‘blanks’. Yet, although they both share a background in Husserlian phenomenology, it is argued that their ideas can hardly be equated to one another. Moreover, Derrida seemed to have avoided any association with Ingarden. This is due to their fundamentally different take on the literary work. Whereas Ingarden mainly considered the ontological nature of literature, Derrida took into account the broader context of the world in which literature takes place. For Ingarden, Derrida would have strayed too far from the subject matter. For Derrida, Ingarden hardly understood its complexity and only examined a small fragment of the issue: the question what makes us grasp literature as such. To Ingarden, those aspects were essential. To Derrida, they were merely objective rules.

Keywords

  • Ingarden
  • Derrida
  • literary text
  • empty spaces
  • essentialism
9 Articles
Open Access

Introduction: Phenomenology and Literature

Published Online: 17 May 2021
Page range: 5 - 14

Abstract

Open Access

Phénoménologies « de » la littérature – phénomène, imagination, fictions littéraires

Published Online: 17 May 2021
Page range: 15 - 68

Abstract

Abstract

This paper intends to offer a first sketch of a pluralist account of contemporary phenomenologies “of” literature. It does so (1) by distinguishing two phenomenological “families” — hermeneutical phenomenology and constitutive phenomenology —, illustrated by two different authors — Ricœur and Husserl —, each of which relies on a distinctive account of the notion of “phenomenon”— qua hidden entity providing the ground for what shows itself first and foremost, and qua intended unity of a multiplicity of conscious experiences —; (2) by fleshing out the two conceptions of “imagination” — productive imagination and phantasia — these accounts of the “phenomenon” give rise to; and finally, (3) by underlining the way in which these two phenomenological accounts lead to alternative ways of apprehending the specific phenomenon of fictional imagination — narrative literary imagination vs. reproductive phantasia of the narrative work — thus specifying two relevant senses in which the tasks of a “phenomenology of literature” could be understood. Such a complex path should enable us to justify the following claim: while hermeneutical phenomenology “of” literature aims at uncovering literature itself as a form of phenomenology, a constitutive phenomenology “of” literature rather understands its task as a way to clarify the fundamental concepts of a whole host of theoretical and practical disciplines about literature. Hence the ambiguity of the genitive “phenomenology of literature”, which could be read either as ascribing phenomenology to literature itself (subjective genitive), or as turning phenomenology towards literature (objective genitive). In its conclusion, this paper will tentatively assess the resources of a Husserl-inspired constitutive phenomenology of literature.

Keywords

  • phenomenology
  • literature
  • imagination
  • Husserl
  • Ricœur
Open Access

Virtuality and Truth. On Literature in Merleau-Ponty’s Indirect Ontology

Published Online: 17 May 2021
Page range: 69 - 84

Abstract

Abstract

This paper aims to investigate the importance of literature in Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s reflections concerning two strictly connected phenomenological themes: 1) the virtuality of objects and of existence itself; 2) the genesis of truth and the intuition of essences. According to Merleau-Ponty, modern novelists have adopted a phenomenological method: instead of ‘explaining’ the world through words, they ‘show’ the lifeworld and its paradoxes indirectly. In his view, and against Jean-Paul Sartre’s position, analyzing literature means developing a theory integrating perception and the imagination. Moreover, at the beginning of the 1950’s, this perspective led Merleau-Ponty to a deep revision of the Sartrian concepts of spontaneity and engagement in literary practice in favour of a theory of expression as style. As a conclusion, the paper argues for the key-role of literature in Merleau-Ponty’s indirect ontology as a way of rediscovering unity and harmony behind the metamorphosis of reality.

Keywords

  • Virtuality
  • Truth
  • Literature
  • Maurice Merleau-Ponty
  • Jean-Paul Sartre
Open Access

Phenomenology and the Transformation of the Modern Novel

Published Online: 17 May 2021
Page range: 85 - 98

Abstract

Abstract

This article examines in what way and to what extent phenomenological philosophy has given rise to a new understanding of the modern novel and to a transformation of its narrative techniques. The starting point for this examination is the claim, made by Merleau-Ponty in “Metaphysics and the Novel”, according to which, in phenomenological philosophy, the task of philosophy is inextricably bound to that of literature. I examine this claim in two ways. First, I situate it historically with regard to the modern novel’s characteristic realism. Then, I show how the phenomenological attitude – formulated by Husserl as a methodological device in distinction with the natural attitude – transforms the novel’s narrative technics. Sartre’s first novel, La Nausée, constitutes an exemplary case to assess this transformation. Combining these two ways, I argue that the claim made by Merleau-Ponty is paradoxical: on the one hand, the intrinsic connection between phenomenological philosophy and literature promotes the cognitive value of the modern novel, but on the other hand, it breaks with the conventions of the novel form and initiates a fragmented writing.

Keywords

  • Phenomenological attitude
  • existence
  • narrative techniques
  • realism
  • Sartre
Open Access

The contribution of “time novels” to a phenomenology of temporality. Thomas Mann, Martin Heidegger, and our experience of time

Published Online: 17 May 2021
Page range: 99 - 117

Abstract

Abstract

This paper insists on similarities between Heidegger’s presentation of Dasein’s authentic understanding of time in Being and Time (§§ 79-80) and Thomas Mann’s attempts to “narrate time itself” in The Magic Mountain. It shows that Thomas Mann’s temporal experiments can contribute to a phenomenology of temporality, not merely by “illustrating” philosophical theses, but also by achieving something that goes beyond any phenomenological consideration on time: the enactment of fundamental temporal experiences.

Keywords

  • Martin Heidegger
  • Thomas Mann
  • temporality
  • narrative
Open Access

L’inépuisabilité de l’œuvre littéraire: Réflexion autour de L’œuvre ouverte de Umberto Eco

Published Online: 17 May 2021
Page range: 119 - 163

Abstract

Abstract

This paper focuses on the main claim of Umberto Eco’s Open Work, according to which any work of art is an inherently ambiguous message, i.e. is inexhaustible, or in principle likely to be the object of an infinite number of interpretations. It does so, first, by restricting itself to the specific topic of the literary work of art, and, secondly, by making a detour, that Eco himself suggests, though he does not really explore it, via Sartre’s ontological phenomenology. This detour will eventually lead the reader from Being and Nothingness to What is Literature?; from Sartre’s “theory of the phenomenon” to his description of the poetic and prosaic attitude; and from a theory of literature qua ambiguity-inexhaustibility to that of openness qua esthetic phenomenon. Finally, it is the capacity of Sartre’s phenomenology to ultimately clarify, or provide a foundation to, Eco’s own theory, as well as the latter’s originality with regard to the former, that will be studied and accounted for.

Keywords

  • Eco
  • Sartre
  • phenomenology
  • literature
  • interpretation
Open Access

Le roman entre inachèvement et clôture

Published Online: 17 May 2021
Page range: 165 - 183

Abstract

Abstract

The novel gives us access to fictional universes in a fundamentally unfinished mode, which allows the reader to give free rein to his or her imagination, in a freedom that is nevertheless monitored and controlled by rules. This article tries to understand the nature of this incompleteness, by discussing some classical readings. How does this specific dimension of fiction relate to Umberto Eco’s concept of the “open work” or to the idea, developed by the phenomenologist Roman Ingarden, that literary works are “schemas” destined to be “concretized” in the consciousness of the reader? How does Hans Robert Jauss’s aesthetics of reception help us to think about the incompleteness of the work in the proper time of its different readings? Through the fruitful dialogue of these different theories, it is a question of highlighting two important points. First, these theories, while discussing the respective roles of the author and the reader, neglect a a third character who is nevertheless essential to the fictional narrative, the narrator. However, taking into account the latter sheds light on the problems encountered. Secondly, this relationship between the incompleteness of the narrative and the narrator’s position is not in itself specific to fiction. It is not absent from scientific texts, when they are thought of as narratives about reality susceptible of different readings in their history.

Keywords

  • Fiction
  • roman
  • narrateur
  • lecture
  • Umberto Eco
  • Roman Ingarden
  • Hans Robert Jauss
  • concrétisation
Open Access

On the Phenomenon of Literary Empathy

Published Online: 17 May 2021
Page range: 185 - 196

Abstract

Abstract

In this paper, drawing on Husserl, as well as on certain other phenomenologists such as Merleau-Ponty and Richir, I claim that the phenomenon of the apprehension of the perspectives and emotions of literary characters deserves to be called literary empathy. In order to support this claim, I’ll firstly argue that empathy is principally an act of presentification closely related with perception, memory and imagination. Secondly, I’ll argue that literary empathy with literary characters is an imaginative reproduction of the reader’s bodily sedimentations under the instruction offered by the literary text. Thirdly, I’ll argue that through literary empathy, a reader forms a peculiar intersubjective link with the literary character. The subjects in play are thus the real existential “I” and the imagined Other. Asymmetry of existence-positing and lack of interaction do not prevent the imagined characters from exerting an effective influence upon the reader and reconfiguring her actual life.

Keywords

  • imagination
  • empathy
  • presentification
  • fiction
  • bodily sedimentation
Open Access

Ingarden and Derrida on empty space in literature

Published Online: 17 May 2021
Page range: 197 - 208

Abstract

Abstract

This article undertakes a comparative study of Ingarden and Derrida in regards to literature. It is being shown that the former’s concepts of ‘spots of indeterminacy’ and ‘empty spots’ resemble the latter’s notions of ‘spacing’ and ‘blanks’. Yet, although they both share a background in Husserlian phenomenology, it is argued that their ideas can hardly be equated to one another. Moreover, Derrida seemed to have avoided any association with Ingarden. This is due to their fundamentally different take on the literary work. Whereas Ingarden mainly considered the ontological nature of literature, Derrida took into account the broader context of the world in which literature takes place. For Ingarden, Derrida would have strayed too far from the subject matter. For Derrida, Ingarden hardly understood its complexity and only examined a small fragment of the issue: the question what makes us grasp literature as such. To Ingarden, those aspects were essential. To Derrida, they were merely objective rules.

Keywords

  • Ingarden
  • Derrida
  • literary text
  • empty spaces
  • essentialism

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