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Chiasmi International

Volume 21, 2019
Merleau-Ponty, Literature, and Literary Language

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Displaying: 21-35 of 35 documents

literature and literary language

21. Chiasmi International: Volume > 21
Daniel Rosenberg

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In his discussions on literature, Merleau-Ponty often turns to the notion of deviation as a constitutive principle of literary language. Deviation indicates the capacity of a literary work (and other aesthetic objects) to transgress against its own limits and to offer an experience of otherness, or alterity. This alterity is not given in the work, but is constituted by the recipient through the more visceral and physical aspects of literary language. The recipient of the work thus adopts a second voice: that of the author or creator of the work, which is absent from the text yet is reconstructed by the reader in a post hoc manner. The analysis of Merleau-Ponty’s ideas is complemented using the aesthetic insights of Paul Valéry, from which the philosopher was greatly inspired. The essay further explores the way in which the notion of literature as deviation illuminates other aspects in Merleau-Ponty’s theory of language.
22. Chiasmi International: Volume > 21
Gianluca Solla

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In the text of his lecture on “Film and the new psychology,” Merleau-Ponty introduces a singular and decisive reading of filmic art, approaching the notion of “rhythm.” This notion engages in a reflection on image and on the relation between the image and the gaze of the spectator at the cinema. In this article, Merleau-Ponty’s actual usage of this notion and the meaning of this operation will be read starting from the reflection of Émile Benveniste on rhythm as well as certain notes presented in Merleau-Ponty’s courses at the Collège de France on The sensible world and the world of expression and Research on the literary usages of language, that follow some years after the lecture.
23. Chiasmi International: Volume > 21
Emmanuel Alloa Orcid-ID

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In his late writings, Merleau-Ponty stressed the convergences between philosophy and literature, highlighting their “common task” of describing the world. His early philosophical texts though – both Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre pointed this out – insist on demarcating themselves from literature. However, well before publishing his first monographs (The Structure of Behaviour in 1942 and Phenomenology of Perception in 1945), Merleau-Ponty had already written a book on someone else’s behalf: Nord. Récit de l’arctique, published in 1928 by French publisher Grasset. The novel, which deals with the life of an explorer in Canada’s far north, between fur trade and encounters with the Inuit, is the result of ghostwriting, carried out for a friend (Jacques Heller). Merleau-Ponty later never stood to that book. There are nonetheless some interesting motifs in this early piece of writing that prefigure his future thinking.

the significance of place

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Ann V. Murphy

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25. Chiasmi International: Volume > 21
Ann V. Murphy

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26. Chiasmi International: Volume > 21
Ann V. Murphy

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27. Chiasmi International: Volume > 21
William D. Adams

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Merleau-Ponty spent the summer of 1960 in the small French village of Le Tholonet writing Eye and Mind. His choice of location was no accident. Le Tholonet was the physical and emotional epicenter of Paul Cezanne’s late painting, the ultimate proving ground of his relentless quest to reveal the truth of landscape in art.It makes perfect sense that Merleau-Ponty wrote Eye and Mind in Le Tholonet. The essay is a philosophical meditation on vision and painting. But it also is a meditation on place, in the deeply saturated sense that encompasses the landscape, its natural and human history, and the history of the painter who brought this part of Provence to universal visibility in his art. Le Tholonet is the terroir of Eye and Mind, the site and soil of this final, extraordinary expression of Merleau-Ponty’s thinking.
28. Chiasmi International: Volume > 21
David Morris

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Movement is crucial to Merleau-Ponty’s effort to comprehend sense, meaning as generated within being. This requires a new concept of movement, not as a dislocation within an already determinate space- or time- frame, but as a deeper, more fundamental change that first engenders space and time as determinate contexts in which movement can follow a sensible course. This poses a novel challenge: conceptualizing determinate space and time as contingently arising from a deeper sort of change, which I call templacement. I address this challenge by turning to the Mexica/Aztecs because the most basic term of their ontology is motion-change, and it is obvious to them that motion-change does not occur in an abstract space-time container. Instead, time-place is woven out of ‘prior’ motion-change. This study leads to a deeper lesson for phenomenology, regarding ‘obvious’ presuppositions about what time and philosophy obviously are – and how these presuppositions go hand in hand.
29. Chiasmi International: Volume > 21
Shiloh Whitney

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What resources does Merleau-Ponty’s account of the body schema offer to the Fanonian one? First I show that Merleau-Ponty’s theory of the body schema is already a theory of affect: one that does not oppose affects to intentionality, positioning them not only as sense but as force, cultivating affective agencies rather than constituting static sense content. Then I argue that by foregrounding the role of affect in both thinkers, we can understand the way in which the historical-racial schema innovates, anticipating and influencing feminist theories of the affective turn – especially Sara Ahmed’s theory of affective economies. The historical-racial schema posits the constitution of affective agencies on a sociogenic scale, and these affective economies in turn account for the possibility of the collapse of the body schema into a racial epidermal schema, a disjunction of affective intentionality Fanon calls “affective tetanization.”
30. Chiasmi International: Volume > 21
Jay Worthy

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Beginning with Fanon’s challenge to the universality of the project of ontology, this paper considers whether and how Merleau-Ponty’s early and late thinking may yield a response. From the outset, Merleau-Ponty’s appeal to the materiality of the body is intended as a limit on the scope of ontology. As I argue, however, Merleau-Ponty’s early concept of ‘one’s own body’ (corps propre) suggests an “ontological equality” that would be shared among all embodied beings; implicitly, this early approach risks reinforcing Fanon’s concern that ontology is indifferent to embodied experiences of racial exclusion and oppression. Merleau-Ponty’s later ontology of the flesh, by contrast, entails a more radically differential structure of the body that troubles the notion of equality in principle, suggesting an ontology that could be more attentive to the fundamental grounds of systemic oppression.


31. Chiasmi International: Volume > 21
Charles Bobant

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In this work, we undertake to demonstrate that the merleau-pontian inquiry into art orders itself according to three distinct and successive speculative movements. In the 1940s, the elaboration of a phenomenology of perception led Merleau-Ponty to approach art starting from the work of art and the perceiving subject who receives it, the spectator. From the beginning of the 1950s, this phenomenology of the work of art and aesthetic perception gave way to a philosophy of expression. The point of departure for artistic questioning changes: it is no longer the meaning expressed, but the expressive or creative act. The signification of the work of art sees itself from this moment understood starting from the meaning of being for the artist: the work is a response to perceptive omissions (manques perceptifs) of the artist. At the end of the 1950s, the merleau-pontian progress of thought experiences an ontological turning. Merleau-Ponty wants to regress below the artist, toward Being itself, which imposes itself finally as the true creator. The last merleau-pontian philosophy of art takes from this moment the aspects of a traditional philosophy of inspiration.
32. Chiasmi International: Volume > 21
Rawb Leon-Carlyle

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In a promising working note to the Visible and Invisible, Merleau-Ponty proposes that we understand Being according to topological space – relations of proximity, distance, and envelopment – and move away from an image of Being based on homogeneous, inert Euclidean space. With reference to treatments of cross-sensory perception, color-blindness, and the concept of quale or qualia, I seek to rehearse this shift from Euclidean to topological Being by illustrating how modern science confines color itself to a Euclidean model of color space. I discuss “being as Object” in Merleau-Ponty’s later work before showing how color, and indeed all perception, is reduced to being as Object in the form of “quale”. Next, I address discussions in Merleau-Ponty’s work and contemporary research to illustrate how synesthesia and so-called color-blindness are rendered abnormal by this objectified being of color. Merleau-Ponty’s reading of synesthesia follows directly from his rejection of quale, and his use of color perception serves as a rejection of solipsism. With appeal to his proposed topological model of Being, I conclude by recognizing the problematic nature of synesthesia and color-blindness as being ontological, not psychological.


33. Chiasmi International: Volume > 21
Judith Wambacq

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Avec son livre La machine sensible, Stefan Kristensen réalise, de façon magistrale, deux objectifs. D’abord, il met en lien la pensée de deux philosophes qui sont à première vue très éloignés l’un de l’autre. Il s’agit de Félix Guattari et de Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Traditionnellement, Merleau-Ponty est considéré comme le philosophe du corps, tandis que Guattari est connu comme le philosophe du corps sans organes. Merleau-Ponty est un phénoménologue, tandis que Guattari prétend abandonner le point de vue du sujet. Kristensen démontre avec succès quel est le terrain commun des deux auteurs : la critique de la conception psychanalytique du sujet.Le deuxième objectif du livre découle directement du premier : présenter au lecteur une alternative à la conception intimiste de la subjectivité, soit comprendre la subjectivité comme fondamentalement parcourue par une altérité. Merleau-Ponty a été l’un des premiers, à l’instar de Paul Schilder, à mettre l’accent sur le caractère collectif et intersubjectif de cette altérité. Guattari a compris que cette altérité possède des sédiments politiques et historiques.With his book La machine sensible, Stefan Kristensen accomplishes two goals in a masterly way. First, he links the works of two philosophers who are very different at first sight: Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Félix Guattari. Traditionally, Merleau-Ponty is considered the philosopher of the body, whereas Guattari is known as the philosopher of the body without organs. Merleau-Ponty is a phenomenologist, whereas Guattari pretends to abandon the point of view of the subject. Kristensen identifies the common ground of the two authors: the criticism of the psychoanalytical conception of the subject.The second goal of the book derives directly from the first: present the reader with an alternative for the intimate conception of subjectivity, that is, present him or her with the idea that subjectivity is always characterized by an alterity. Merleau-Ponty, following the example of Paul Schilder, has been one of the first to stress the collective and intersubjective nature of this alterity. Guattari has understood that this alterity has political and historical sediments.Con il suo libro La machine sensible, Stefan Kristensen realizza magistralmente due obiettivi. Innanzitutto, egli mette in relazione il pensiero di due filosofi a prima vista molto distanti tra loro: Félix Guattari e Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Se tradizionalmente Merleau-Ponty è considerato il filosofo del corpo, Guattari è invece noto come il filosofo del corpo senza organi. Merleau-Ponty è un fenomenologo, mentre il pensiero di Guattari intende abbandonare il punto di vista del soggetto. Kristensen propone allora di leggere la critica della concezione psicoanalitica del soggetto come terreno comune tra i due autori. Il secondo obiettivo del libro discende direttamente dal primo: presentare al lettore un’alternativa alla concezione intimista della soggettività, ovvero concepire la soggettività come fondamentalmente percorsa da un’alterità. Merleau-Ponty è tra i primi, sulla scorta di Paul Schilder, a porre l’accento sul carattere collettivo e intersoggettivo di questa alterità. Dal canto suo, Guattari ha compreso che questa alterità possiede dei sedimenti politici e storici.
34. Chiasmi International: Volume > 21
Charles Bobant

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Dans son livre Le corps, c’est l’écran. La philosophie du visuel de Merleau-Ponty, Anna Caterina Dalmasso met en évidence la présence de la pensée merleau-pontienne dans les réflexions contemporaines relevant des visual studies, de la médiologie et des études cinématographiques. Les analyses menées révèlent un Merleau-Ponty à l’origine d’un certain nombre de « tournants » majeurs dans le questionnement, touchant notamment à la conception de l’image (de l’image copie d’un modèle à l’image qui nous regarde) et du médium (du modèle de la transparence à celui de l’opacité). Enfin, l’une des ambitions – et l’une des réussites – de l’ouvrage est de restituer l’apport significatif de Merleau-Ponty pour les film studies. A.C. Dalmasso jette des lumières nouvelles sur une interrogation en constante évolution, en s’appuyant à la fois sur les textes bien connus (« Le cinéma et la nouvelle psychologie », L’OEil et l’esprit) et les « inédits » (Le Monde sensible et le monde de l’expression).In her book Le corps, c’est l’écran. La philosophie du visuel de Merleau-Ponty, Anna Caterina Dalmasso brings to light the presence of Merleau-pontian thought in contemporary reflections relevant to visual studies, as well as film and media studies. The analyses she carried out reveal a Merleau-Ponty at the origin of a certain number of major “turns” in the inquiry, touching notably on the conception of the image (from the image as copy of a model to the image that looks at us) and of the medium (from the model of transparency to that of opacity). Besides, one of the ambitions – and one of the successes – of the work is to demonstrate the significant contribution of Merleau-Ponty for film studies. A.C. Dalmasso throws new light on an interrogation in constant evolution, stressing both well-known texts (“Film and the New Psychology,” Eye and Mind) and unpublished manuscripts (Le monde sensible et le monde de l’expression).Nel volume Le corps, c’est l’écran. La philosophie du visuel de Merleau-Ponty, Anna Caterina Dalmasso mette in evidenza la presenza del pensiero merleau-pontyano nelle riflessioni contemporanee dei visual studies, della teoria del cinema e dei media. Le analisi che vi sono condotte rivelano un Merleau-Ponty all’origine di alcune importanti “svolte”, che riguardano in particolare la concezione dell’immagine (dall’immagine come copia di un modello ad un’immagine che ci guarda) e del medium (da un modello basato sulla trasparenza a uno che fa perno sulla sua opacità). Inoltre, una delle ambizioni – e uno degli aspetti più originali – dell’opera è quella di restituire il significativo apporto di Merleau-Ponty per l’ambito dei film studies. A.C. Dalmasso fa luce in modo innovativo su un tema di ricerca in costante evoluzione, appoggiandosi ad un tempo su scritti più noti (come “Il cinema e la nuova psicologia” e L’occhio e lo spirito) e su alcuni testi “inediti” (in particolare Le monde sensible et le monde de l’expression).
35. Chiasmi International: Volume > 21
Matteo Segatto

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Hanno ancora qualcosa da dirci Sartre e Merleau-Ponty oggi? Sessant’anni dopo i loro “contraccolpi” – consumatisi nella redazione di una rivista come “Les Temps Modernes” – vale ancora la pena di ripercorrere quella storia? È questa la domanda che apre l’ultimo numero di “aut aut” curato da Enrica Lisciani-Petrini e Raoul Kirchmayr. Si tratta di una domanda a cui è difficile rispondere e che ha a che fare con che cos’è la filosofia (oggi) e – soprattutto – che cos’è un filosofo (oggi). È una domanda che, nel caso di Sartre e di Merleau-Ponty, non chiama in causa soltanto due differenti scuole di pensiero, ma anche due modi differenti di intendere il mondo, la politica, gli altri e le relazioni con essi. Ma si tratta, in fondo, di una domanda che – con le parole di Sartre – ci porta a riflettere sul fatto che “si è filosofi quando si è morti”, poiché – in fondo – “fino a quando viviamo, siamo uomini che, tra l’altro, scrivono opere di filosofia”. E allora la risposta a quella domanda non può che essere affermativa: il loro “dissidio produttivo” (è questo il titolo del numero 381 di “aut aut”) è un atto vitale, un incontro-scontro necessario fra persone che fanno vivere la filosofia.Sartre et Merleau-Ponty ont-ils encore quelque chose à nous dire aujourd’hui ? Soixante années après leurs « contrecoups » – qui ont eu lieu dans la rédaction de la revue Les Temps Modernes – vaut-il encore la peine de reparcourir cette histoire ? Voilà la question qui ouvre le dernier numéro de la revue « aut aut », sous la direction d’Enrica Lisciani-Petrini et Raoul Kirchmayr. Il s’agit d’une question à laquelle il est difficile de répondre et qui est en rapport avec ce qu’est la philosophie (aujourd’hui) et – surtout – avec ce qu’est un philosophe (aujourd’hui). Il s’agit d’une question qui, chez Sartre et Merleau-Ponty, ne met pas seulement en cause deux courants de pensée différents, mais aussi deux différentes manières de concevoir le monde, la politique, les autres et les relations qu’on entretient avec eux. Mais il s’agit, au fond, d’une question qui – en employant les mots de Sartre – nous conduit à réfléchir sur le fait que « l’on est philosophes quand on est morts », parce que – après tout – « jusqu’à ce que nous vivons, nous sommes des hommes qui, entre autre, écrivent des oeuvres de philosophie ». Alors la réponse à cette question ne peut être qu’affirmative : leur « différend productif » (c’est le titre du numéro 381 de « aut aut ») est un acte vital, en même temps une rencontre et un affrontement nécessaires entre des personnes qui font vivre la philosophie.Do Sartre and Merleau-Ponty still have something to say to us today? Sixty years after their “breakup” – which took place in editing the journal Les Temps Modernes – is it still worthwhile to go over this history? This is the question that opens the last issue of the journal “aut aut,” under the direction of Enrica Lisciani-Petrini and Raoul Kirchmayr. It is a question to which it is difficult to respond and bears on what philosophy is (today) – and especially with what a philosopher is today. It is a matter which, according to Sartre and Merleau-Ponty, does not only call into question two different currents of thought, but also two different ways of conceiving the world, politics, others and the relations between them. But it is a matter, at its core, which – employing the words of Sartre – leads us to reflect on the fact that “we are philosophers when we are dead,” because – after all – “while we are alive, we are men who, among other things, write works of philosophy.” Thus, the response to this question can only be affirmative: their “productive difference” (this is the title of number 381 of “aut aut”) is a vital act, at the same time an encounter and necessary confrontation between persons who breathe life into philosophy.