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1. Janus Head: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Robert D. Stolorow Heidegger, Mood and the Lived Body: The Ontical and the Ontological
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It is sometimes said that Heidegger neglected the ontological significance of the lived body until the Zollikon Seminars, where he elaborates on the bodily aspect of Being-in-the-world as a “bodying forth.” Against such a contention, in this article I argue that, because of the central role that Heidegger grants to mood (disclosive affectivity) as a primordial way of disclosing Being-in-the-world, and because it is impossible to think mood without also thinking the lived body, Heidegger has actually placed the latter at the very center of Dasein’s disclosedness. Heidegger’s account of mood thus entails and highlights, rather than neglects, the ontological significance of the body.
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2. Janus Head: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Robert G. McInerney A Phenomenological Account of the Shooting Spree
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I presented a version of this paper in November of 1999 after the Columbine Shootings. Currently, I have come to focus less on the gun as a technological augmentation and extension of desire and more on the mooded, lived situation of the immediate shootings. However, I have included a small portion of that previous analysis here in order to set the stage, if you will, for a phenomenological explication of the shooting spree. I put forth that the spree itself, as it is experienced, is an important consideration in further understanding and preventing rampage, mass killings in the United States.
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3. Janus Head: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Charles Sabatino Energy Becoming Love
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This essay develops the metaphor of energy to address the meaning of God. It does so by drawing upon aspects of Buddhist thinking and certain findings in contemporary science. It approaches energy as the activity of inter-reling, pregnant with the possibility of emerging as spirit, in a manner that heals, especially becoming the highest quality within relatedness: that of care and love. Love as we understand it may not have been at the beginning; but it does emerge from the giving forth of the beginning; and it does emerge from the activity of interrelatedness that occurs in and as world. Such is the divine impulse that has given birth and empowers world. Those are the activities within which God, world, and humanity most express one another, most are synonnomous with one another.
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4. Janus Head: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Robert D. Stolorow Love, Loss, and Finitude
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In this paper I offer some existential-phenomenological reflections on the interrelationships among the forms of love, loss, and human finitude. I claim that authentic Being-toward-death entails owning up not only to one’s own finitude, but also to the finitude of all those we love. Hence, authentic Being-toward-death always includes Being-toward-loss as a central constituent. Just as, existentially, we are “always dying already,” so too are we always already grieving. Death and loss are existentially equiprimordial. I extend these claims to a discussion of the four forms of love identified by the ancient Greeks, contending that the nature of a loss experience will depend complexly on the forms or dimensions of love that had constituted the lost relationship. I argue that authentic solicitude can be shown to entail one of the constitutive dimensions of deep human bonding, in which we value the alterity of the other as it is manifested in his or her own distinctive affectivity, in particular, in those painful emotional states disclosive of authentic existing. Lastly, I explore the ethical implications of these claims.
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5. Janus Head: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Brent Dean Robbins Joyful Thinking-Thanking: A Reading of Heidegger’s “What Is Called Thinking?”
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Interpretations of Heidegger’s existentialism tend to emphasize states of mind such as anxiety and boredom in his work, and his analysis of human being-toward-death. With such talk, one might rightly come to the conclusion that Heidegger had a morbid fascination with death and the horrible aspects of life. However, I am not alone in recognizing that Heidegger was not really a philosopher of anxiety, but, rather, one of joy (Robbins, 2003; Smith, 1981). Read in context, his analyses of anxiety and death are preparatory for an authentic appropriation of finitude in which one finds what Heidegger calls an “unshakeable joy.” And it is also within this spirit of joy that Heidegger explores in a radical way – what is called thinking?
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6. Janus Head: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Rex Olson Psyche as Postmodern Condition: The Situation of Metaphor in James Hillman’s Archetypal Psychology
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This article examines James Hillman’s notion of psyche in relation to metaphor as the foundation for his archetypal psychology. In pushing Jung to his imaginal limits, Hillman provides an archetypal corrective to the Cartesianism inherent in modern scientific psychology in order to understand all aspects of contemporary psychological life. He proposes an ontological view of metaphor that locates psyche beyond language and mind to places in the world, thus seeking to establish a postmodern archetypal psychology. In the end his notion of psyche is not radical enough in its critique to advance archetypal psychology into acknowledging its postmodern condition.
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7. Janus Head: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Richard W. Bargdill Toward a Theory of Habitual Boredom
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This article describes the experience of habitual boredom including: contrasting situational and habitual boredom, reviewing the humanistic-existential literature on habitual boredom as well as presenting a theory of habitual boredom. The theory suggests that habitual boredom develops from ambivalence (1) an emotional tear between one’s self and others. This ambivalence leads to a passive-avoidant stance (2) toward one’s life. This passivity includes a passive hope (3); the bored person believes something or someone else will change the bored person’s life, but not one’s own actions. Gradually, this passivity exposes identity confusion (4) but corrective action is thwarted because the person is too ashamed (5) to ask for help. Habitual boredom is conceptualized as an unresolved experience of personal meaninglessness.
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8. Janus Head: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Keith Moser The Ethical Summons Extended by Le Clézio’s “Martin” and Other Casualties of Peer-Victimization
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This interdisciplinary essay investigates J.M.G. Le Clézio’s short story “Martin” from the collection entitled La Fièvre (Fever) from the lens of recent empirical studies related to bullying. The 2008 Nobel Laureate in Literature creates a rending portrait of the physical and cerebral anguish suffered by casualties of peer-victimization. The profound inner turmoil experienced by the protagonist Martin mirrors the searing pain felt by millions of innocent victims around the world on a daily basis. Although the nefarious, long-term effects of bullying are often dismissed by misinformed individuals as a reflection of “boys being boys,” research unequivocally demonstrates that bullying is a global pandemic that should be taken seriously. In this disquieting narrative from the early part of his illustrious career, Le Clézio extends an ethical summons to the reader which compels us to think harder about the dire social consequences of bullying. Specifically, the tragic dénouement leaves little room for ambivalence concerning the author’s position related to the anguish experienced by casualties of peer-victimization. In “Martin,” it is the destabilizing realism that attacks the sensibilities of the reader the most. Although this text is a work of fiction, it deeply resonates with the reader given that deplorable incidents, which leave deep inner scars, like the one described in “Martin” occur far too often all across the globe. When analyzed in conjunction with the disconcerting research compiled by international scholars from around the world, “Martin” is an invaluable tool that allows us to catch a small glimpse of the unbearable torment felt by the victims of these heinous crimes.
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9. Janus Head: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Eric Greene The Phenomenology of Condoms
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10. Janus Head: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Stuart Joy The Look on Their Faces: Transcending Lack on Christopher Nolan The Prestige
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This essay offers a psychoanalytical reading of Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige (2006) by principally focusing on the discourse of lack. I argue that the visual, structural and thematic composition of the film provides a means to confront the fundamental sense of lack – a central tenant of Lacanian psychoanalysis – at the heart of being. In particular, I contend that Nolan foregrounds lack by using reflexive techniques that call attention to the film’s production processes which in turn, highlight the spectator’s desire for a sense of (unattainable) unity.
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11. Janus Head: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Nisha Gupta The Cinematic Chiasm: Evoking Societal Empathy through the Phenomenological Language of Film
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This paper is a recommendation for phenomenologists to use film as a perceptually-faithful language with which to disseminate research and in­sights about lived experience. I use Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy to illus­trate how film can evoke a state of profound, embodied empathy between self-and-other, which I refer to as “the cinematic chiasm”. I incorporate a case study of my experience as audience member becoming intertwined with the flesh of the film “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.” I discuss four aesthetic techniques of this film through which I became enveloped in a state of visceral empathy towards the “other” on-screen. The cin­ematic chiasm offers exciting, creative possibilities for phenomenologists, particularly those who are interested in evoking widespread empathy for social justice purposes.
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12. Janus Head: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Kevin Love Différance and Paranoia
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This exploratory essay aims to open différance to a form of enquiry it has not seen coming. A consideration of the complex temporality that attends its historical emergence leads to a specifically différantial articulation of spatio-temporality. A residual element of spacing before/behind spati­otemporality provokes further consideration. The notion of verbality is introduced to provide analytical purchase. Analysis identifies a fundamen­tal mannerism in différance; a participative and orchestrative spacance. Dif­férance participates too determinately in this spacing, as this spacing. The paper thus urges différance to rewrite this element quasimetaphorically. In the ensuing drama, différance can rewrite the metaphor of spacing only by relying again on the spacing of metaphor. Unable to rewrite itself quickly enough, nonetheless compelled, an unexpected dimension opens.
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13. Janus Head: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Christine Daigle, Louise Renée Performing Philosophy: Beauvoir’s Methodology and its Ethical and Political Implications
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Simone de Beauvoir’s contribution to ethics and politics is articulated through a methodology that successfully renders philosophy as literary and literature as philosophical. Her existential-phenomenological stance permeates her corpus and dictates a philosophical approach that avoids theoretical treatises in favour of philosophy as a way of life which is com­municated in a variety of modes of expression. The Ethics of Ambiguity furnishes us with an example of said philosophy insofar as it performs the philosophy it offers and thereby appeals to the reader to engage in ethical and political action in her own life.
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14. Janus Head: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Saulius Geniusas The Spectacles of Pain and Their Contemporary Forms of Representation
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This essay offers a phenomenological interpretation of symbolic violence. According to my thesis, the craving for violent imagery derives from the audience’s unconscious desire to liberate itself from pain’s destructive effects. I argue that this unrealizable project of liberation can take three forms: it can aim to express the inexpressible, escape the inescapable, or transfer the non-transferrable. I further contend that the audience’s approach to contemporary representations of violence is paradoxical: its irresistible craving for pain’s virtual manifestations is no greater than its incapacity to tolerate pain’s actual manifestations. After addressing some objections that my interpretation is bound to provoke, I conclude with some reflections regarding the possibility of an ethical engagement in symbolic violence.
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15. Janus Head: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Rachel Starr “Oh, a friend!” Psychotherapy and the Other in the Light of Montaigne’s Essays
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The irrepressible 16th century humanist and essayist, Michel de Montaigne, wrote a self-portrait with such unprecedented candour and conversational flair, that he all but jumps from the page and shakes your hand. At Mon­taigne’s invitation, I bring together psychotherapists and the Essays in a conversation that revives the notion of friendship, and evokes the pleasure of mutual revelation in the search for understanding. In the light of the Essays’ “gay and sociable wisdom”, I see essaying and therapy as discrete yet closely intertwined cultural tasks. Each is an openhearted work of being together, of making room for alterity rather than conquering it with theory. Only in a world made coherent through the practices of friendship and hospitality can we come to cultivate the otherness of painful separations, tolerate the strangeness of our ordinary foibles, and draw closer to life.
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16. Janus Head: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Anthony Splendora Dead Tilt: Playing for Keeps at “The Blue Hotel,” the Prize and the Price
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Stephen Crane had not advanced beyond his teenage years before twelve of the sixteen original members of his immediate family had died, and by his early twenties he was becoming symptomatic with the tuberculosis that would kill him at twenty eight. Death, ever present, overshadowed his life and like a threatening eclipse looms, markedly, in his best work. “The Blue Hotel,” a crowning realization of the short story form, is a site for the expurgation of that relentless spectre, its alienated and adversarial Swede a personification of Crane’s own dissolution, forthwith to be ritualistically purged. Such sacrifice is shown to be psychosocially well founded, historical in long practice and supported by current theory as a means of restoring order to exigent chaos; here Crane in 1898, nearing his unruly end, implemented sacrificial victimization allegorically, with cardplaying rather than the casting of lots his aleatory selector, for the most vital personal reason.
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17. Janus Head: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Robert Scott Stewart, Michael Manson “Misplaced Men: Aging and Change in Coetzee’s Disgrace and McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men”
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“That is no country for old men” is the famous first line of Yeats’s “Sailing to Byzantium,” which reflects upon aging, art, and immortality. Yeats sug­gests in his poem that the aged ought to move from the sensual, physical world of their youth to a world of intellect and timeless beauty. We em­ploy this poem and that line to explore the aging male protagonists in two recent novels: Cormac McCarthy’s No Country For Old Men, and J.M. Coetzee’s Disgrace. We suggest that though both of the novel’s pro­tagonists have aspirations to ’sail to Byzantium’, various factors ranging from their characters to the problematic realities of contemporary south­west America and South Africa make such a wholesale, successful journey impossible even though some progress is made.
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18. Janus Head: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Arthur A. Brown The Primordial Affirmations of Literature: Merleau-Ponty and Stephen Crane’s “The Open Boat”
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Stephen Crane’s short story “The Open Boat”—a tale “intended to be after the fact”—affirms Merleau-Ponty’s conclusion that “The perceived world is the always presupposed foundation of all rationality, all value and all existence.” The story dramatizes and reflects on the men’s situation in the world, their inter-subjective experience against the background of non-human nature. In facing the imminent possibility of their own deaths as, for each of them, “the final phenomenon of nature,” the men become “interpreters” of what is primary in the human condition. The line between the world of the reader and the world of the story, like the line between consciousness and being, is less a line than a horizon.
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19. Janus Head: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Heather Fox Representations of Truth: The Significance of Order in Katherine Anne Porter’s The Old Order Stories
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Katherine Anne Porter submitted a group of stories called “Legend and Memory” to The Atlantic Monthly in 1934, but instead of the reception she hoped for, The Atlantic Monthly responded with a request for significant revisions. These recommendations, as Porter adamantly explained, would change the collective meaning of the stories. And yet, Porter ultimately chose to concede, publishing the stories separately in other magazines before finally collecting them together again in The Leaning Tower and Other Stories (1944). Over the next twenty years, Porter would publish the stories (later called The Old Order stories) in two more collections— The Leaning Tower and Other Stories, The Old Order: Stories of the South from The Leaning Tower, Pale Horse, Pale Rider, and Flowering Judas and The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter. Each time she chose not to edit individual stories but rearranged the order of the stories. Individually, each story is like a sketch, or one component of the protagonist Miranda’s construct of identity from the perspective of an adult looking backward and remembering as a child. And yet collectively, these stories reveal memory’s process of reconstruction and how the perspective of time transforms event through addition, elimination, and arrangement. Using text, correspondence, manuscripts, and cognitive research to examine the progression of Porter’s work on The Old Order stories in three collections over more than thirty years, “Representations of Truth: The Significance of Order in Katherine Anne Porter’s The Old Order Stories” traces the progressive ordering of these stories from their original submission to their final collection in The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter (1965). This essay argues that Porter’s rearrangements reflect a reconstructive process of memory. Over time, the reorganization of The Old Order stories demonstrate a shift in Miranda’s memories from a chronological positioning to a representational ordering, allowing Miranda to reexamine her perspective on past experiences.
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20. Janus Head: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Michael Bradburn-Ruster The Triumph of Kafka
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