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Introduction Phenomenology and Literature Aurélien Dijan Université de Lille UMR 8163 (STL) email@example.com Reception date: 11-08-2021 Acceptance date: 18-08-2021 1. Does phenomenology have anything to say about literature? At first sight, such a question could appear (at best) as naive, and (at worst) as utterly artificial. For it is a fact that some phenomenologists “talked” about “literature”. But what does “talking about literature”, and “literature” itself, mean, in this context? — First, “literature” does not refer to what Husserl calls “the broadest concept of literature”, which encompasses “a whole class of spiritual products of the cultural world, to which not only all scientific constructions and the sciences themselves belong but also, for example, the constructions of fine literature” (Husserl, 1976: 368/356-357). In other words, geometrical, mathematical, physical, anthropological, psychological, or sociological, treatises, but also philosophical essays, and even novels, poems, plays, autobiographies, biographies, are all, qua cultural products, good examples of “literature” (in this first sense), as soon as “it belongs to their objective being that they be linguistically expressed and can be expressed again and again; or, more precisely, they have their objectivity, their existence-for-everyone, only as signification, as the meaning of speech” (Husserl, 1976: 368/357). “Literature”, then, is distinguished from “tools (hammers, pliers) or architectural and other such products, which have a repeatability in many like exemplars” (Husserl, 1976: 368/357), by the fact that, being linguistically expressed, its “objective being” is omni-temporal: “literary” objectivities “can appear simultaneously in many spatiotemporal positions and yet be numerically identical as the same” (Husserl, 1939: 312/260). As Husserl puts it, “The Pythagorean theorem, [indeed] all of geometry, exists only once, no matter how often or even in what language it may be expressed” (Husserl, 1976: 368/357). But it also applies to “fine literature”: for instance, “Goethe’s Faust is found in any number of real books […] which are termed exemplars of Faust. This spiritual sense which determines the work of art, the spiritual structure as such, is certainly ‘embodied’ in the real world, but it is not individualized by this embodiment” (Husserl, 1939: 319-320/266, trans. modif.)—it is the numerically identical Faust in each and any Faust exemplars. ISSN: 0874-9493 (print) / ISSN-e: 2183-0142 (online) DOI: 10.2478/phainomenon-2021-0011 6 Aurélien Dijan With regard to this “broadest concept”, it is a much narrower one that will draw our interest in this issue of Phainomenon. We will not be interested in any “literature” qua linguistically expressed cultural product — so that, this time, mathematical, physical, anthropological, psychological, or sociological, treatises, will not be counted among “literature” —, because phenomenologists, though they indeed “talked”, even if (sometimes) in a negative manner, about sciences, did not “talk” about “literature” in the general sense just mentioned. But they “talked” about some “literary” products as, for instance, Holderlin’s In Lovely Blue (see Heidegger, 1958), Proust’s In Search of Lost Time (Ricœur, 1984), or Melville’s Moby Dick (Sartre, 1947) — namely, about what one could call, with Husserl, “fine literature”. Yet one would be wrong to consider such a narrower definition of “literature” as self-evident from the start. For the question of the nature of such a “literature” — the question, that is, of knowing “what these examples are examples of exactly?” — does not generate univocal answers from the various “phenomenological” projects. And it is not only because they do not understand exactly the same thing under the general term “fine literature” — for instance, are plays, autobiographies and biographies, specific parts of this genus? —, and do not draw the same specific demarcations inside it — how, for instance, are novels and poems related inside this general concept? For not all of them would even agree with Husserl’s claim that one can bring out a domain of “fine literature”. More precisely, some would not agree on the very idea of a definition and delimitation of “literature” qua cultural product essentially distinct, not only from science in general, but also, and more importantly, from philosophical constructions. In fact, Heidegger’s or Derrida’s philosophies are even grounded on the denial of such distinctions, pertaining to a metaphysics of presence in need of overcoming (see Derrida, 1972; Heidegger, 1962; and Ricœur’s analysis of this claim in the last study of Ricœur, 1975). Poetry, for instance, is not, and cannot be, considered as an example of “literature” qua linguistically expressed cultural and, more precisely, artistic, product. Quite the contrary, according to Heidegger, in its very “essence”, poetry is philosophical, since it strives to express a thought of Being and of its history. Therefore, while, on the one hand, we will be interested in the following in what phenomenologists said about what one would tend to call “fine literature”, on the other, it will appear as a crucial moment of each “phenomenological” project — and as a significant part of the debate between different kinds or types of phenomenologies — to determine the very nature of this “literature” they are talking about. — Secondly, it is not just that some phenomenologists “talked” about literature in the sense we have just mentioned, i.e. they were phenomenologists and it turns out they wrote about it. Some, as Sartre in What is Literature?, Ricoeur in Time and Narrative, Ingarden in his Ontology of the Literary Work of Art, or Iser in Der Akt des Lesens, devoted full-fledged, extensive and systematic essays on this topic, specifically framed in “phenomenological” terms. And if, drawing on Ricœur’s “broad sense” of phenomenology (see infra.), we further extend the meaning of the latter so as to include all of those who, though they do not present themselves explicitly as phenomenologists, were inspired by Husserl or Heidegger, the range of authors to be considered will drastically increase: from Foucault’s Les Mots et les Choses; to Deleuze’s Proust et les signes or Kafka; via Goldman’s Le Dieu Caché; or Derrida’s Marges de la philosophie. Not to mention this other fact that some of them, as Sartre and Henry, themselves wrote pieces of literature — although it is not entirely clear how the latter relate to the specific phenomenological project of their author. More on this infra. in Arthur Cools’ “Phenomenology and the Transformation of the Modern Novel”. Introduction: Phenomenology and Literature 7 We can now suitably reformulate our initial claim in the following way: it is a fact that some phenomenologists talked in a phenomenological manner about some kind of literature that one would tend to call “fine literature”, but whose very nature is the object of theoretical decisions and definitions which are not univocal among phenomenologists. Yet, despite this fact, our question — “does phenomenology have anything to say about literature?” — is not as naive and artificial as it first seems. For the more one embraces the range of all those philosophical projects calling themselves “phenomenology”, the more the phenomenological landscape, and its so-called relation to literature, becomes unclear. Indeed, while it is a fact that some phenomenologists “talked about literature” in the aforementioned sense, it is also a fact that a great deal of “phenomenologies”, not only did not say a word about it, but, more importantly, do not arouse any expectation vis-à-vis their relation to literature. In such a way that, from the very start, it is not sure whether it would make any sense — or maybe whether it would only make sense artificially — to ask if these kinds of “phenomenology” have anything to say about literature. This is already true when one draws on Ricœur’s famous suggestion according to which “phenomenology in the broad sense is the sum of Husserl’s work plus the heresies stemming from Husserl” (Ricœur, 1986: 9). After all, the founder of the phenomenological movement himself, Edmund Husserl, apart from a few remarks and suggestions dropped here and there in the midst of the thousands of lines of his work, did not offer any substantial survey of the phenomenon of literature. Admittedly, one could easily draw from that the conclusion that this absence is nothing other than a mere contingent fact: the fact that, here and there, he talked about literature from a phenomenological point of view, shows that Husserl could have offered a theory of literature, if only he had had the time and will. A conclusion that, again, is not self-evident, since it involves the implicit claim that Husserl designed his phenomenology so as to be, somehow, able to tackle the aspects and problems related to literature — even though he did not explore this field of research himself. Seen from this vantage point, not only is it a fact that “phenomenology” — namely: Husserl’s phenomenology — has something to say about literature, but it is also true by virtue of its principles. Yet things get more complex when it comes to Heidegger. In fact, not only he did not seem, in Being and Time — a book of which it would not be exaggerated to say it has inspired successive generations of phenomenologists —, to be naturally inclined to talk about literature. But it is also striking that, even after his 1927 masterpiece, Heidegger ended up dealing with “literature” (qua poetry) precisely at the moment when he decided to leave all phenomenology behind. If this is true, then it turns out that, according to Heidegger, to see the connection between philosophy and “literature” (or poetry) involves — or goes hand in hand with — transcending “phenomenology”. Almost from the start, then, the (contemporary, catalysed by Husserl) “phenomenological” tradition (in Ricœur’s sense) did not maintain a straightforward relation vis-à-vis the idea of a “phenomenology of literature”, and of a phenomenology per se. And it now appears there are “phenomenologies” for which it is not even sure whether the aforementioned question — “does phenomenology have anything to say about literature” — makes any sense: it certainly makes sense with regard to a “broad meaning” of phenomenology, but not vis-à-vis a narrower one. But there are still more troubles to come. For the range of what has been called “phenomenology” does not boil down to Husserl and his “offspring”, even if one takes this term in the broad sense Ricœur mentions. In fact, if Ricœur’s claim has the merit of highlighting the tremendous impact of Husserl on the history of contemporary phenomenology and philosophy as a whole, it is also partly excessive — or, more precisely, its definition is excessively “narrow”. In his classical studies on the history of 8 Aurélien Dijan phenomenology (Spiegelberg, 1965), Spiegelberg talks of a “phenomenological movement” which rightly includes, not only Husserl and his “offspring” — among which Heidegger and the French phenomenologists, but also Pfänder, Reinach, or Geiger, are to be found — but also Stumpf’s “phenomenology” and Brentano’s “descriptive phenomenology”. Stumpf and Brentano who could hardly be counted among Husserl’s offspring. And one could also add to this list Charles Sanders Peirce’s “phenomenology or phaneroscopy”, whose relationship with Husserl’s phenomenology — be it the Logical investigations’ “purely descriptive phenomenology” or the Ideas I’s “transcendental- constitutive phenomenology” — is not easy to define, to say the least. And one could broaden even more the range, by underlining that one did not have to wait until the 20th century (or so) to see phenomenological projects enter the scene. After all, long before the likes of Husserl, Stumpf, Brentano, or Heidegger, there have also been attempts, made by Lambert or, most famously, Hegel, to offer “phenomenologies” — respectively a “phenomenology qua doctrine of appearances”, and “qua science of the experience of consciousness”. Not to mention Kant’s or Herder’s. Yet, for some reason, one would not expect that kind of “phenomenology” to say anything about literature; and, this time, asking oneself “do these phenomenologies have anything to say about literature?” would indeed appear as artificial. In light of the huge diversity of “phenomenologies” we have just embraced, and of the fact that each of them does not necessarily incite one to ask oneself whether (or not) they have anything to say about literature, we can now suggest the following claim: to the question “does phenomenology have anything to say about literature?, one can provide the following answer, namely that while some phenomenologists talked about literature in phenomenological terms, and even arouse the expectation that their project could, or should, maintain a relationship with the later, some did not, and do not arouse the same expectation. 2. Hence the following question: why is it so? More precisely, are there phenomenological projects which, because of the very way there are designed, arouse the aforementioned expectation — even when, in fact, they did not inquire into the phenomenon of literature —, while other do not — which would explain why, in fact, they did not say a word about it? Although any substantial, and therefore satisfactory, answer to this question would exceed the limited frame of this introduction, one can at least suggest the following hint (see Djian-Majolino, 2018 and 2020). While Lambert’s, Herder’s or Hegel’s “phenomenologies” are mere branches — though certainly important — of philosophy, the end of the 19th century, beginning of the 20th, constitutes a turning point with regard to the history of phenomenology. From this point forward, phenomenology becomes the most fundamental part of philosophy itself. In other words, what singles out any contemporary phenomenology from its predecessors is the attempt to provide a ground from which the whole of philosophical problems can be dealt with in a new way. And this ground is nothing other than what each of the contemporary phenomenologists call “phenomenon”. A concept which, though it is almost as old as philosophy itself, had to undergo a complete redefinition in order, not only to account for the demarcation of a full-fledged domain (and branch) of philosophy (as in Lambert’s or Hegel’s “phenomenologies”), but also to fulfill its new task of grounding philosophy itself qua phenomenological philosophy (as in contemporary phenomenologies: Husserl’s “transcendental- constitutive phenomenology”; Brentano’s “descriptive phenomenology”; Peirce’s “phaneroscopy”; Heidegger’s “phenomeno-logical ontology”; and so on). From this claim, one can draw the following conclusion: a “phenomenology” does not need to say anything about literature; only phenomenologies whose ambition is to ground philosophy itself Introduction: Phenomenology and Literature 9 have to say something about literature. This is why a Husserlian, constitutive phenomenology of literature makes perfect sense — even if Husserl himself did not offer any substantial survey of “literature” —, while a Hegelian phenomenology of literature might not . We are now in a favorable position to answer our question: the fact that, among the range of “phenomenology” we have just embraced, some phenomenologies talked about literature—and, when they did not, that one expects that they could and should; and the fact that some did not, and that nobody would expect that they could or should; these two facts are grounded in the nature of the phenomenological project itself. In other words, there are “phenomenologies”, namely contemporary phenomenologies, that one can expect to maintain a relationship whatsoever with literature, because they are meant to renew philosophy itself, namely to provide a standpoint from which the latter could tackle in a new manner the most relevant and thorny questions — including those related to the meaning, scope and nature of “literature”. 3. Yet, having claimed that not every phenomenology has something to say about literature, and that the phenomenologists who do — i.e. contemporary phenomenologists —, do (or could, or should do) it because of the very nature of their phenomenological projects — which is to renew philosophy itself, rather than being a mere branch of the latter — still does not give us any clue about what exactly phenomenology has to say about literature. In other words, what are the problems and concepts that phenomenology draws on when it comes to literature, and which distinguish it from, for instance, history of literature, literary critic, narratology, reception theory — to mention just a few —, namely the different sciences and disciplines relative to what has been called “fine literature”? And, more importantly, how does phenomenology assess the nature of its own relationship with literature? Our above discussion of the equivocal answer provided to the question of the nature of “literature” already puts us on a possible track: with regard to “literature”, not all phenomenologists share the same problems and concepts, and the same way to apprehend their relationship with it. Quite the contrary: the determination of such problems, conceptions, and relation vis-à-vis “literature”, is relative to which phenomenological project is under consideration. Now, does it mean that there are as many phenomenological problems, concepts and relations to literature, as phenomenologists? That there are as many phenomenologies “of” “literature” as phenomenologies? Spiegelberg’s very idea of a “phenomenological movement” could suggest and substantiate such a claim. In fact, talking of such a “movement” involves such a heterogeneity among its members, that it “makes it impossible to rely on a standard definition for the purpose of historical inclusion or exclusion” (Spiegelberg, 1965: 1). To put it in other terms, with regard to the doctrines, problems, and even definitions that phenomenologists themselves provided of phenomenology, the phenomenological tradition is far too rich and diversified to single out a so-called essence, i.e. to offer a straightforward answer to the question: “what is phenomenology?”. Yet between the essentialist approach to the contemporary tradition of phenomenology, and the factual one, enumerating the multiplicity of already existing phenomenological projects, there is a middle way. And the first paper of this issue, “Phénomenologies ‘de’ la littérature. Phénomène, imagination, fiction littéraire”, written by Claudio Majolino and myself, precisely strives to explore this way, called “structural-generative”. Which does not prevent Hegel, in his Aesthetics, from dealing in great details with the literary object and the relationship that various literary forms maintain with each other. Yet this aesthetic should not be considered as a “phenomenology” in the strict (Hegelian) sense of the term, referring specifically to the science of the experience of consciousness. More on this in Szondi, 1986. 10 Aurélien Dijan Its aim is to flesh out two (among others) families of contemporary phenomenology — hermeneutical phenomenology and constitutive phenomenology —, revolving around two distinctive accounts of the notion of “phenomenon” — understood as the hidden entity grounding what shows itself first and foremost, or as the intended unity of a multiplicity of consciousness —, provided for the first time by two philosophers — Husserl and Heidegger. These two models of “phenomenon” both structure the two aforementioned families, unifying all of its members, and generate, beyond the projects of the founders (Husserl’s and Heidegger’s), various initiatives having a certain family resemblance — Sartre’s constitutive phenomenology and Ricœur’s hermeneutical phenomenology serving as paradigmatic examples. Now, having distinguished both families, the paper is able to single out the general and distinct problems and concepts that each of them is confronted to, and how they are reinvested by two authors — Husserl and Ricœur — in their specific discussion of “literature”, more precisely of literary fictions. It is shown how these two authors draw distinct conceptions of the “imagination” from their respective accounts of the “phenomenon”, in order to account for the “imagination implied in literary fictions”. And how these conceptions of the “phenomenon”, of the “imagination”, and of the “literary imagination”, lead to two distinct ways to consider the relationship that phenomenology maintains with literature — and the nature of “literature” itself. While Ricœur’s hermeneutical phenomenology takes “literature” to be phenomenological — and thus “phenomenology ‘of’ literature” means, to Ricœur, “literature qua phenomenology” (subjective genitive) —, Husserl’s constitutive phenomenology conceives phenomenology as dealing with literature and all the disciplines revolving around it — hence “phenomenology ‘of’ literature” means, to Husserl, “phenomenology dealing with literature” (objective genitive). Now, each of the following papers, though they all are autonomous works concentrating on various authors, dealing with distinct problems and themes, drawing on different concepts and methods, interested in such and such phenomenological projects, should also be considered, within the collective frame of this issue, as attempts to explore, to take part in, to narrow down and (sometimes) to rearrange the tentative history of “phenomenologies ‘of’ literature” just fleshed out. The first two papers — Paola Pazienti’s “Virtuality and Truth. On Literature in Merleau-Ponty’s Indirect Ontology” and Arthur Cools’ “Phenomenology and the Transformation of the Modern Novel” — somehow go hand in hand. They indeed both explore Merleau-Ponty’s claim that “literature has never been as philosophical as it has in the Twentieth Century”, though in two, complementary, directions. Pazienti’s paper goes through Merleau-Ponty’s reflections on literature, from Phenomenology of Perception and Metaphysics and the Novel (1945) to The Eye and the Mind (1960), via the recently published Le problème de la parole. Cours au Collège de France. Notes 1953-1954 (2020). It does so by using as a guiding thread Merleau-Ponty’s major claim, according to which literature is philosophical as soon as it is involved in carrying out the task of an indirect ontology, which is to manifest or express the virtuality of being in a truthful manner — although “truth” here must be understood in a dynamic and lateral way, distinct from the traditional conception of truth qua correspondence. This guiding thread therefore allows her to somehow unify the various analyses Merleau-Ponty provided on literature throughout his life; but it also, and more importantly, enables the author to single out precisely where Merleau-Ponty’s and Sartre’s paths depart from each other, and to spell out the specific conceptual network Merleau-Ponty draws on when it comes to his phenomenology “of” literature qua indirect ontology — perception, imagination, flesh, expression, style, to mention just a few. Finally, it puts her in the position to substantiate, from a Merleau-Pontian Introduction: Phenomenology and Literature 11 perspective, his claim that “Literature has never been as philosophical as it has in the Twentieth Century”. Just like Paola Pazienti, Arthur Cools starts with Merleau-Ponty’s claim of the connection “between the philosophical promotion of the modern novel and phenomenological philosophy”. Yet rather than tracing it back to Merleau-Ponty’s indirect ontology, the author focuses, firstly, on “how this connection historically became possible”. Here, Husserl’s promotion of the épochè qua Voraussetzungslosigkeit plays a crucial role by breaking with the realistic claim, implicitly or explicitly assumed by any modern novel, to present reality “as evidently given within the context of individual sensory experience”. Thus, while “the natural attitude is a fundamental characteristic of the novel’s description of reality”, the phenomenological one “suspends the fundamental assumption implicit in the realism of the novel”, hence giving access “to a pre-philosophical experience of the world”. Secondly, such a claim, according to the author, implies the possibility of a new novel form and new novel techniques “capable of expressing the new interpretation of reality” promoted by the phenomenological épochè — a possibility that Sartre’s Nausée attempts to realize. Seen from this vantage point, Sartre’s “new understanding of the act of narrating”, new technique of description, and breaking with the unity of the character and the unity of the plot, are nothing other than a method to carry out the new phenomenological view on world and being — giving rise to this specific type of novel called phenomenological novel. The third paper, “The contribution of ‘time novels’ to a phenomenology of temporality. Thomas Mann, Martin Heidegger, and our experience of time”, written by François Jaran, is in line with Cools’ paper. Though within a different framework, it indeed concentrates on another “phenomenological novel” (in the sense pinpointed by Cools). This time, the aim of the paper is to complement “Ricœur’s reflection on the respective contributions of the ‘direct discourse of phenomenology’ and the ‘indirect discourse of narration’ to the question of time”. Indeed, while Ricœur considers narrative fictions as a way to poetically solve the “aporetics of time” raised by a phenomenological theory on this theme, the author strives to show that one can “use temporality as it appears in fiction (…) not to solve the aporia, but as a tool to complete the phenomenological perspective on human time” — and, in this case, Heidegger’s “presentation of Dasein’s authentic understand of time in Being and Time”. Therefore, Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain will serve, not as a stock of examples capable of illustrating phenomenological concepts, but as a phenomenological novel, supplementing Heidegger’s phenomenological analyses on time, in particular via its description of “acclimatation” and “waiting”. The fourth and fifth paper — my own paper, “L’inépuisabilité de l’œuvre littéraire. Réflexion autour de L’œuvre ouverte de Umberto Eco”, and Lucien Vinceguerra’s “Le roman entre inachèvement et clôture” — both revolve around the so-called property of “non-completeness” of literary fictions. My paper intends to conceptually clarify Eco’s claim in The 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 by making a detour, suggested by Eco himself, though he does not explore it at great length, via Sartre’s constitutive phenomenology as it is exposed in Being and Nothingness and What is Literature? And it draws on some of Sartre’s main phenomenological concepts — phenomenon, imagination, perception, horizon, attitude, poetic attitude, prosaic attitude — in order to ultimately ground Eco’s theory of the openness of any literary work, as well as to flesh out its main originality with regard to Sartre’s theory of prosaic and poetic attitude, which is to consider such openness as a specifically esthetic phenomenon resulting from the superposition, in the reader’s consciousness, of both the prosaic and the poetic attitude. Hence Sartre’s 12 Aurélien Dijan phenomenological theory of literature turns out to be able to provide a ground to Eco’s esthetic theory of the openness of any literary work. Vinciguerra’s paper is distinguished from mine, and even from the other papers gathered in this issue, by two traits: its exploratory character, and its attempt to expand the scope of the discussion by thematizing the relation that literary fictions maintain with non-fictional “literature” in the broader, Husserlian, sense aforementioned — including novels, newspaper report, as well as the constructions of natural sciences. Vinciguerra indeed goes through the various sense and levels of what has been dubbed as the “non-completeness” of literary fictions — from Umberto Eco’s openness of any artistic work (and the specific openness of these artistic works that Eco calls “moving works”), to Roman Ingarden’s ontology, which conceives literary fictions qua essentially schematic, via Hans-Robert Jauss’ idea of the conversational status of literary works. Its aim is to pinpoint an aspect of “non- completeness” that literary fictions share with any “literature” construction, and in particular natural sciences, namely that fact that it revolves around a narrative voice, whose task is to deliver to the reader the totality of the content of “literary” work, of its structure and form; and whose concretization can be carried out but via another narrative — just like, for instance, the modern concretization of the narrative voice in Chretien de Troye’s chivalry novels qua an anomaly, rest and depend on the modern reader’s habits of a modern narrative voice providing details on the feelings and thoughts of a character which account for her/his actions,; just like “l’énoncé des lois de Kepler dans l’Astronomia nova de 1609 du savant allemand ne parle pas des mêmes objets au moment de sa publication et au temps de Newton”, namely once concretized by a reader of Newton. Hence the conclusion of the paper, which is to be understood not only as a reassessment of Ingarden’s theory of “concretization”, but also, and most importantly, as a philosophical program: “la concrétisation n’est pas la détermination dans une conscience du contenu schématique d’un récit. C’est la conscience qui doit être pensée comme la concrétisation d’un récit dans un autre récit”. The last two papers — Jing Shang’s “On the Phenomenon of Literary Empathy” and Jonas Vanbrabant’s “Ingarden and Derrida on empty space in literature” — explore a path of research left open by Majolino and Djian’s paper. While the latter limited itself fleshing out the difference between different families of phenomenology, the former concretely studied the relationship that some of the phenomenological authors, belonging to different families, maintain with each other, either by building bridges between these singular phenomenological projects, striving to show what some of them can agree on, when and where they could complement each other; or, quite the contrary, by showing how much they are irreconcilable and offer alternative concepts and theories. Jing Shang’s paper strives to offer a depiction of the phenomenon of literary empathy as a dimension of the reading correlation (contrasted with that of the writer). Therefore its attempt rests on an objective understanding of the genitive in “phenomenology ‘of’ literature”. This materializes in the Husserlian perspective adopted: literary empathy is apprehended via Husserl’s distinction between presentation and presentification: it constitutes “an act of presentification which is closely related to perception as well as to other acts of presentification, namely imagination and memory”. Now, literary empathy is also an imaginative reproduction of the reader’s bodily sedimented elements of past experience under the instruction of the depiction offered in the literary text. Yet, Husserl does not offer any systematic inquiry into the question of the embodiment of memory, nor of the relation between language and body, in general; and he does not give any of his reader any clue about how such phenomena would be implied in the specific case of literary empathy. And it is here, on this peculiar point, that Merleau-Ponty, though he does not share Husserl’s theoretical principles and program of a Introduction: Phenomenology and Literature 13 foundation of sciences, can complement Husserl. For, as Shang puts it, both themes receive “a fuller elaboration in Merleau-Ponty”. Finally, the author addresses the question of the intersubjectivity of literary empathy. The embodied reader indeed “forms a peculiar asymmetrical imaginative intersubjectivity with the fictional characters, and thus also with the writer” — a peculiar intersubjectivity which, just like an “empathical interaction with others in real face-to-face intersubjectivity”, “can enrich and reshape our experience of the world and of ourselves”. For, as Husserl puts it, “even the re-presentation is sensed, is present, becomes constituted as a unity in the presenting time-consciousness”, and is thus able to enrich the stream of consciousness. With regard to Shang’s paper, Vandrabant’s takes quite a different path. Indeed, while Shang intends to show how authors that offer essentially distinct phenomenological projects can, in fact, complement each other on peculiar points, Vandrabant underlines how two concepts that seem to resemble each other, since they apply to the same (literary) phenomenon of empty space — namely: Ingarden’s Unbestimmtheitsstelle and Derrida’s espacement —, “are neither interchangeable nor commensurable”. This claim, as the author explicitly suggests, is based on the fact that Ingarden and Derrida “had quite a different agenda”, though both agenda somehow point back to Husserl: Ingarden strives to defend “the realist phenomenology of Husserl’s Logical Investigations against the transcendental idealism he developed from the Ideas onwards” — fleshing out the essence of literary object qua intentional objects, unlike real objects in the materiel world, being a crucial part of the realization of such an agenda. On the contrary, Derrida aims at overcoming Husserl’s phenomenology itself by abandoning the “metaphysical presuppositions” that the latter did not “consequently scrutinised” — the idea of an essence of literature and a limit of philosophy being one of these presuppositions. The distinctive agenda of Ingarden and Derrida being fleshed out, the author can now spell out the specificity of both concepts of Unbestimmtheitsstelle and espacement: with regard to Derrida, “espacement”, revolving around the concept of differance, concerns any “text” in the broad sense of the term, i.e. “all the structures called ‘real’, ‘economic’, ‘historical’, socio-institutional, in short: all possible referents” , and constitute “the necessary background of a text, as it were the fabric in which each text lies embedded”, indicating “the realm in which meaning is to be constituted”. Quite on the contrary, vis-à-vis Ingarden, “spots of indeterminacy” designate a property of these specific texts called literary texts, resulting from their schematic formation, thus proving the “purely intentional” character of literary works, and distinguishing it from the “reality” of the “objects of the material world”. *** Does phenomenology have anything to say about literature? Why do contemporary phenomenologies say (or should say) anything about it? What do these contemporary phenomenologies, in particular, have to say about literature? The introduction and the papers included in this issue are collectively all attempting to offer an answer, as sketchy as it is, to these questions, as they have been spelled out in the course of this introduction. Of course, not all contemporary “phenomenologists” have been discussed, let alone all the families of phenomenology ‘of’ literature. Yet the merits of this collective work is to have provided a ground — namely: a structural-generative one — from which a (theoretically justified) history of “phenomenology ‘of’ literature” can be tackled; to have started exploring this field of research, full of singular phenomenological projects; and to have given an insight into new, in the making, phenomenological program relative to “literature” in the strict and the 14 Aurélien Dijan much broader sense of the term. This demonstrates, if proof where needed, the life and varieties of this old tradition of phenomenology, and of its rich and various interests in literature. Now, as for its relevance, that is for the reader to judge. Bibliography Derrida, J. (1972). Marges de la philosophie. Paris: Éditions de Minuit. Heidegger, M. (1962). Approches de Hölderlin. Paris: Gallimard. Heidegger, M. (1958). “L’homme habite en poète”. In: M. Heidegger. Essais et Conférences. Paris: Gallimard. Husserl, E. (1976). Husserliana VI. Die Krisis der europischen Wissenschaften und die transzendentale Phenomenologie. Eine Einleitung in die phenomenologische Philosophie. Éd. W. Biemel. La Haye: Martinus Nijhoff (1970. The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology. Trad. D. Carr. Evanston: Northwestern University Press). Husserl, E. (1939). Erfahrung und Urteil. Untersuchung zur Genealogie der Logik. Ed. L. Landgrebe. Prague: Academia Verlagsbuchhandlung (Experience and Judgment. Investigations in a Genealogy of Logic. Trad. J. S. Churchill and K. Ameriks. London: Routledge). Ricœur, P. (1986). À l’école de la phénoménologie. Paris: Vrin. Ricœur, P. (1984). Temps et Récit. Tome II : La configuration dans le récit de fiction. Paris: Éditions du Seuil. Sartre, J-P. (1947). Situations I. Paris: Gallimard. Spiegelberg, H. (1965). The Phenomenological Movement. A Historical Introduction. Volume I. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff. Szondi, P. (1986). Saggi sulla poetica di Hegel e Schelling. Torino: Einaudi.
Phainomenon – de Gruyter
Published: Dec 1, 2021
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