Volume 16, 2014
Between Yesterday and Tomorrow
Kathleen Hulley, Donald A. Landes
Phenomenology, Ontology, and the Arts: Reading Jessica Wiskus’s The Rhythm of Thought
Jessica Wiskus’s book The Rhythm of Thought: Art, Literature, and Music (University of Chicago Press, 2013) is a fascinating study of Merleau-Ponty’s late philosophy in
relation to the artistic expression of Mallarmé, Cézanne, Proust, and Debussy. By invoking examples from across the arts and citations from across Merleau-Ponty’s
oeuvre, Wiskus provides us with a style for reading some of Merleau-Ponty’s difficult late concepts, including noncoincidence, institution, essence, and transcendence.
In this review, we explore some of the key concepts and insights of Wiskus’s rich, interdisciplinary book and offer some places where the depth that it opens up perhaps
invites further exploration.