Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies News

Combining the Worlds of Philosophy and Literature

March 30th, 2018

On March 15th the Purdue University Press released Of Levinas and Shakespeare: “To See Another Thus” edited by Moshe Gold and Sandor Goodhart with Kent Lehnhof.

Scholars have used Levinas as a lens through which to view many authors and texts, fields of endeavor, and works of art. Yet no book-length work or dedicated volume has brought this thoughtful lens to bear in a sustained discussion of the works of Shakespeare. It should not surprise anyone that Levinas identified his own thinking as Shakespearean. “The play’s the thing” for both, or put differently, the observation of intersubjectivity is. What may surprise and indeed delight all learned readers is to consider what we might yet gain from considering each in light of the other.

Comprising leading scholars in philosophy and literature, Of Levinas and Shakespeare: “To See Another Thus” is the first book-length work to treat both great thinkers. Lear, Hamlet, and Macbeth dominate the discussion; however, essays also address Cymbeline, The Merchant of Venice, and even poetry, such as Venus and Adonis. Volume editors planned and contributors deliver a thorough treatment from multiple perspectives, yet none intends this volume to be the last word on the subject; rather, they would have it be a provocation to further discussion, an enticement for richer enjoyment, and an invitation for deeper contemplation of Levinas and Shakespeare.


Pre-Publication Reviews

“Together, the papers in this marvelous collection reveal the significance of Shakespeare for Levinas and the significance of Levinas for Shakespeare. At a time of keen interest in Shakespeare and philosophy, it will be welcomed by philosophers and literary critics alike.”
Andrew Cutrofello, Professor of Philosophy, Loyola University Chicago

“These essays do not simply apply Levinasian concepts to Shakespeare, which in Levinas’s terms would do violence to Shakespeare by bounding his work with a conceptual schema. Instead, these astute and sympathetic readings enable the Shakespearean literary world, which (as Hamlet suggests to Horatio) overflows the boundaries of philosophy’s dream, to speak and listen to Levinas’s philosophical world, which overflows the boundaries of the concept by rooting thought in ethics. This dialogue works hard to preserve the concrete humanity and ethical grounding of both worlds. Now more than ever, in an era that permits the reduction of the human to the tweet, we need this kind of reading.”
David P. Haney, President, Centenary University


About the Editors

Moshe Gold is an associate professor of English and director of the Rose Hill Writing Program at Fordham University. A coeditor of the Joyce Studies Annual, Gold has published on Joyce, Plato, Levinas, Derrida, and the Talmud. His work on the Polish director Kieslowski appears in Of Elephants and Toothaches: Ethics, Politics, and Religion in Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Decalogue.

Sandor Goodhart is a professor of English and Jewish Studies and Director of the Religious Studies Program at Purdue University. He has published over one hundred essays and six books, including Sacrificing Commentary: Reading the End of Literature (1996), The Prophetic Law: Essays in Judaism, Girardianism, Literary Studies, and the Ethical (2014), and Möbian Nights: Reading Literature and Darkness (2017).

Kent Lehnhof is a professor of English at Chapman University. He studies early modern literature and culture and has published extensively on Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton. Recent work has appeared in Renaissance Drama, Modern Philology, and Shakespeare Bulletin.


Book Information

Book Title: Of Levinas and Shakespeare: “To See Another Thus”

pub. date: 03/15/2018

page count: 356

dimensions: 6.00″ x 9.00″

ISBN: 9781557538055

Price: $50.00

Check out the preview of the book here