chapter  5
16 Pages

The artwork

This sweeping statement from Otherwise than Being, which epitomizes a persistently negative reaction in many of Levinas’s writings, seems to condemn any artwork in advance. But as we shall see, Levinas’s approach is progressively far more complex than this rigid dismissal might immediately suggest. In this chapter, I shall try to outline Levinas’s general vision of the artwork, detail certain dominating influences, read his reaction to key works or writers and point out the important changes and residual tensions in his positions.