The Other

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The Other

Post  Guest on Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:12 pm

Following Andy's advice I'm checking Levinas out. Just reading this part about his philosophy makes me want to know more about his work:

Levinas derives the primacy of his ethics from the experience of the encounter with the Other. For Levinas, the irreducible relation, the epiphany, of the face-to-face, the encounter with another, is a privileged phenomenon in which the other person's proximity and distance are both strongly felt. "The Other precisely reveals himself in his alterity not in a shock negating the I, but as the primordial phenomenon of gentleness." At the same time, the revelation of the face makes a demand, this demand is before one can express, or know one's freedom, to affirm or deny. One instantly recognizes the transcendence and heteronomy of the Other. Even murder fails as an attempt to take hold of this otherness.



Leonard Cohen's "Who by fire"



And who by fire, who by water,
who in the sunshine, who in the night time,
who by high ordeal, who by common trial,
who in your merry merry month of may,
who by very slow decay,
and who shall I say is calling?

And who in her lonely slip, who by barbiturate,
who in these realms of love, who by something blunt,
and who by avalanche, who by powder,
who for his greed, who for his hunger,
and who shall I say is calling?

And who by brave assent, who by accident,
who in solitude, who in this mirror,
who by his lady's command, who by his own hand,
who in mortal chains, who in power,
and who shall I say is calling?


I always thought this song was about the other, who you meet.

A youtuber called Elonyy says: In case you don't know, Leonard Cohen is Jewish. The lyrics' of this song are translated and were taken from the Yom-Kipur prayer. Yom-Kipur is the holiest day of the year for Jews- they fast and don't use electricity. Its said to be when god's decide who lives and who dies- and how. now read the lyrics' again Smile

Maybe I wasn't so wrong. I think the song combines both things: in the song Cohen turns the usual or casual "encounter with another" into a "privileged phenomenon", like if God was calling.

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Re: The Other

Post  Guest on Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:52 pm

I think I wouldn't lose sleep if I didn't have to deal with people but it is worth it. Sometimes people can be very agressive in our minds, like a threat. This especially happens when I picture them as alien to the things I know... then I claim a measurement to measure things. Later sometimes I recover sanity but never remember how.

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Re: The Other

Post  Guest on Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:15 pm

asdf wrote:
Leonard Cohen's "Who by fire"...Its said to be when god's decide who lives and who dies- and how. now read the lyrics' again Smile.
...I couldn't follow Levinas, but I followed your instructions and reread the lyrics/poem in the light of the new information Shocked Cool

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Re: The Other

Post  Guest on Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:24 pm

I'm thinking how you die could be meaning why you die... Question

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Re: The Other

Post  Guest on Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:35 pm

asdf wrote:I'm thinking how you die could be meaning why you die... Question
...like this?

how you die: heart attack
why: greasy food and a daily pack of cigarettes

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Re: The Other

Post  Guest on Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:36 pm

...and I'm trying to get my head around 'other'.
...do you mean 'other' like a 'doppelganger' ?

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Re: The Other

Post  Guest on Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:07 am

I don't really know what doppelganger means. By other I meant other people, other person that I idendify as not being I... I think that's what Levinas meant too.



Nice example, the heart attack and cigarettes hehe (are you threating me already? Suspect )
Let's speculate in the song cyclops

And who in her lonely slip, who by barbiturate,

this two are very related, I think

a slip is a mistake but it is also an accident (I'm not sure to know the connotations of this word in the context) while abusing barbiturate is usually intended, but why would someone abuse barbiture? one reason could be because he/she is lonely? At least we know this usually takes place when they're alone and loneliness makes people lonely slip and a slip I said is an accident.

What was I trying to say with this? scratch

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Re: The Other

Post  Guest on Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:24 am

asdf wrote:I don't really know what doppelganger means. By other I meant other people, other person that I idendify as not being I... I think that's what Levinas meant too.



Nice example, the heart attack and cigarettes hehe (are you threating me already? Suspect )
Let's speculate in the song cyclops

And who in her lonely slip, who by barbiturate,

this two are very related, I think

a slip is a mistake but it is also an accident (I'm not sure to know the connotations of this word in the context) while abusing barbiturate is usually intended, but why would someone abuse barbiture? one reason could be because he/she is lonely? At least we know this usually takes place when they're alone and loneliness makes people lonely slip and a slip I said is an accident.

What was I trying to say with this? scratch
...a doppelganger is like a double of yourself...I see now that's not what you mean.
...ciggies are on my mind because this is day 4 of giving up and my voice is whispering to me to remind me I saw a choice butt outside the back door while I was gardening today
...the song speculation is very interesting. Do you know that a slip is also a petticoat (an item of underwear)? So poor woman is sitting in her lonely underwear, (it paints a picture. she's probably in a bedroom or bathroom dressed like that). She's slipped up (in this context slipping up can mean to 'backslide', or 'fall back' (into the habit of barbiturates).


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Re: The Other

Post  Guest on Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:46 am

What about

who in solitude, who in this mirror,

What's the difference between solitude and loneliness? The Spanish word for solitude seems to be the same one as for loneliness: soledad. Is it that solitude means something regarding the mind and loneliness with the physical absence of someone else?



I think the first 3 days are the worst days of giving up so now that you're on day 4 don't spoil it with a butt.

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Re: The Other

Post  Guest on Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:07 pm

asdf wrote:I think the first 3 days are the worst days of giving up so now that you're on day 4 don't spoil it with a butt.
...it's the next morning now...I made it through the night. It's very hard.

asdf wrote:What's the difference between solitude and loneliness? The Spanish word for solitude seems to be the same one as for loneliness: soledad. Is it that solitude means something regarding the mind and loneliness with the physical absence of someone else?
...I see solitude as a lack of contact with people, and lonliness as a lack of meaningful contact with people. Solitude seems to me to have a grander, romantic aspect because it's often a choice, as with hermits, monks etc. (unless it's being inflicted as a punishment). Lonliness doesn't seem like a choice.
Solitude doesn't neccessarily lead to lonliness, and lonliness doesn't always happen in solitude.

asdf wrote:What about who in solitude, who in this mirror,
...is he talking about himself? nah I don't think so. He says: "who in this mirror". I think he's referring to the song as the mirror, so the 'who' is the hearer of this song.


Last edited by blue moon on Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:38 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Other

Post  Guest on Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:20 pm

...it's been really interesting, asdf, looking into this song.

It's the second verse of the Yom Kippur prayer 'Unetanneh Tokef'...this part of it is relevent to the song (I've inserted the line breaks):

On Rosh Hashanah will be inscribed
and on Yom Kippur will be sealed
how many will pass from the earth
and how many will be created;
who will live and who will die;
who will die at his predestined time
and who before his time;
who by water and who by fire,
who by sword, who by beast,
who by famine, who by thirst,
who by storm, who by plague,
who by strangulation, and who by stoning.
Who will rest and who will wander,
who will live in harmony and who will be harried,
who will enjoy tranquility and who will suffer,
who will be impoverished and who will be enriched,
who will be degraded and who will be exalted.

...Cohen has given causes of death a modern twist (one of his lines makes me see an avalanche of cocain)

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Re: The Other

Post  Guest on Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:25 pm

I don't know if my hang over has something to do with it but now I feel I know the song worse.

Thank you for explaining the difference between solitude and loneliness.

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Re: The Other

Post  Guest on Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:28 am

asdf wrote:I don't know if my hang over has something to do with it but now I feel I know the song worse.
...it's my fault...I think I analysed the magic away silent

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Re: The Other

Post  Guest on Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:32 am

That happens sometimes
but I don't mean it's indeed your fault...
today everythings seems to be under an unpleasant light.

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Re: The Other

Post  Guest on Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:40 am

asdf wrote:That happens sometimes
but I don't mean it's indeed your fault...
today everythings seems to be under an unpleasant light.
...it gets that way. I have to work in the morning. It's 1.40am. I should be in bed. Instead I'm sitting here fuming over some man that did me wrong nearly 20 years ago. It's giving me indigestion.

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Re: The Other

Post  Guest on Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:47 am

asdf wrote:
For Levinas, the irreducible relation, the epiphany, of the face-to-face, the encounter with another, is a privileged phenomenon in which the other person's proximity and distance are both strongly felt. "The Other precisely reveals himself in his alterity not in a shock negating the I, but as the primordial phenomenon of gentleness." At the same time, the revelation of the face makes a demand, this demand is before one can express, or know one's freedom, to affirm or deny. One instantly recognizes the transcendence and heteronomy of the Other. Even murder fails as an attempt to take hold of this otherness.
Levinas didn't have internet access, did he?

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Re: The Other

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:04 pm

Approximately as I sit here, Aussies are in front to the right, Engladers at the left and Americans at my back.

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Re: The Other

Post  eddie on Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:10 pm

'Je' est un autre.

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Re: The Other

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:33 pm

..."Je est un autre. Tant pis pour le bois qui se trouve violon, et Nargue aux inconscients, qui ergotent sur ce qu’ils ignorent tout à fait!"

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Re: The Other

Post  Guest on Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:40 pm

Je Est un Autre
by Lawrence Durrell

'Je Est un Autre'

—Rimbaud.

He is the man who makes notes,
The observer in the tall black hat
Face hidden in the brim:
He has watched me watching him.

The street-corner in Buda and after
By the post-office a glimpse
Of the disappearing tails of his coat,
Gave the same illumination, spied upon,
The tightness in the throat.

Once too meeting by the Seine
The waters a moving floor of stars,
He had vanished when I reached the door,
But there on the pavement burning
Lay one of his familiar black cigars.

The meeting on the stairway
Where the tide ran clean as a loom:
The betrayal of her, her kisses
He has witnessed them all: often
I hear him laughing in the other room.

He watched me now, working late,
Bringing a poem to life, his eyes
Reflect the malady of De Nerval:
O useless in this old house to question
The mirrors, his impenetrable disguise.



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Re: The Other

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