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Difficult Freedom: Levinasian Ethics in Joy Kogawa's "Obasan"

By 陳慧琴


本文以列維納斯的思想為主軸討論日裔加拿大作家小川樂的《歐巴桑》,並主張主角娜歐密找尋母親的愛及追求「自由」的過程回應了來自無限「他者」倫理的呼喚。本文首先討論列氏的倫理哲學,並解釋何謂艱難的自由,再將其以形而上倫理的論述藉由「第三者」(the third party)、「陌生人」(the stranger)、以及「受害者」(the persecuted) 觀念延伸至政治面來探討其思想如何應用於族裔小說的閱讀。接著文章將討論《歐巴桑》的娜歐蜜如何透過「感性」(sensibility) 以及回應他者超越現有的創傷及發言策略,並以列氏的「已說」(the said) 及來自「未說」(the unsaid) 的倫理「言說」(the saying),討論娜歐蜜的文體及意識流為何是一種倫理「言說」。此感性及倫理語言為艱難的政治議題帶來自由的可能性。藉由本文筆者盼能補充列維納斯尚未深度探討的族裔以及社群倫理,並探討為何列氏的倫理及自由觀必須是「艱難的」。The question of freedom and responsibility is an old question for which there is no closure or final answer, and the discussion has certainly become more difficult in today's globalizing communities. Using Emmanuel Levinas's notions as a framework, this paper discusses Joy Kogawa's "Obasan" in terms of how the protagonist Naomi, in her search for Mother's hidden love and freedom for the Japanese Canadians, learns to respond to the ethical calling of the infinite Other. This paper will first provide an overview of Levinas's ethics, explain why freedom must be difficult, and then extend Levinas's ethical philosophy, through the concepts of "the third party," "the stranger" and "the persecuted" to readings of minority novels. The discussion continues to suggest that Naomi’s attentiveness leads her to look beyond to infinity. Then, I will discuss Naomi's view of language in terms of Levinas's the already Said, ethical Saying, and the Unsaid; and explain why Naomi's poetics and streams of consciousness exemplify such an ethical Saying. The paper is an attempt to provide a new perspective on minority/ethnic politics, while defending why the Levinasian freedom must be "difficult.&quot

Topics: 列維納斯, 倫理, 自由, 族裔小說, 《歐巴桑》, Levinas, ethics, freedom, ethnic novels, &quot, Obasan&quot
Publisher: 臺中市:國立中興大學外國語文學系
Year: 2014
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