the infants could survive into adulthood. With regard to autism
spectrum, it has been observed that making psychiatric distinctions between
the phenomenology of autism and the pathologies and behaviours of persons
with (severe) ID is very difficult in those people with genetic syndromes of ID,
since ‘complex cognitive, communicative, behavioral, emotional, and physical difficulties … may mask or emulate’ autism, but according to ‘a pragmatic
perspective, the etiology of the behavior presentation is, arguably, unimportant’13
[emphasis added]. Mental retardation can
argue that such imaginary relations – relations of ‘fandom’, as it
were – are a frequent if unacknowledged component of literary
enjoyment, and I want to think further about whether the formation of such relations might have any defensible elements at all.
That is, might one discover an intellectually coherent aspect of this
debunked practice? I want to weigh two possible forms of identification with an author: one involving some extremely preliminary
thoughts about the author-in-the text and the phenomenology of
textual encounter, and the other involving the
’s account of the embodied and affective experience of
encountering faces, which confirms but modifies Levinas’s account
by combining phenomenology and enactive cognitivist approaches.
Although Gallagher agrees with Levinas that ‘the transcendence
at stake’ in face-to-face encounters ‘involves one’s capacity to
perceive in the other … the potential to take one beyond oneself’,20
he grounds this intersubjective experience in cognitive perception
and, importantly, in affective response which ‘involves complex
interactive behavioral and response patterns arising out of … the
theorists such as Jane Bennett, whose concept
of ‘thing-power’ in Vibrant Matter (2010) seeks to ‘acknowledge
that which refuses to dissolve completely into the milieu of human
knowledge’ while aiming to ‘attend to the it as actant’.10 Even more
recently, Ian Bogost’s Alien Phenomenology (2012) situates things
at the centre of being and advocates the use of metaphor in philosophy as a means of glimpsing things as they exist outside of
human consciousness.11 The work of Levi Bryant (2011) puts entities at all levels of scale on equal ontological footing and Timothy
Ingold, Being Alive, pp. 15–32.
44 Ingold, Being Alive, pp. 30–1. In this section, Ingold is critiquing
Christopher Tilley’s The Materiality of Stone: Explorations in
Landscape Phenomenology (Oxford: Berghahn, 2004).
45 Orton and Wood with Lees, Fragments of History, p. 142.
46 ‘Swan’: Ferdinand Holthausen, ‘Anglosaxonica Minora’, Beiblatt zur
Anglia, 36 (1925), 219–20; ‘quill pen’: F. H. Whitman, Old English
Riddles (Ottawa: Canadian Federation for the Humanities, 1982),
pp. 144–8; ‘figurehead’: see Williamson, Old English Riddles of the
Exeter Book, pp
hundreds of pairs ended
up on the left half of the body mould, and the other on the right.
Both sides of the bread body were then flipped over. The result
was that the co-ordinates of left and right failed to signify in the
way that we are accustomed to think that they do. They could not
be seen as opposites; nor could they give an observer back their
comfortable bearings. The ‘universal’ of perceiving left from right
was confounded because Gormley made an enantiomorph. Because
the sculpture disrupted the phenomenology of left/right apprehension, intuitions about how we
Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion
in England c.1400–c.1580, 2nd edn (New Haven and London, 2005).
7 Gérard Genette, Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation (orig. Seuils, Paris 1987), tr.
Jane E. Lewin (Cambridge, 1997). Such an examination is in tune with the recent
emphasis on ‘new philology’ and especially the significance of manuscript reception
in the study of religious phenomenology (as in Eamon Duffy, Marking the Hours:
English People and Their Prayers 1240–1570 (New Haven and London, 2006)).
8 John Bale, Illustrium maioris Britanniae, scriptorum
and fear singular among the emotions,
and it can be said that fear and hope are the Janus face that men and
women wear when they turn to the future. Phenomenology has argued that
human experience is enabled by emotional states underpinning the
perception of the world. Not only does this emotional state precede all
thoughts and considerations; it is the very condition of their
possibility: human beings