By Emmanuel Levinas
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55 Benjamin's concept of a collaborator, an active agent of transformation, is reinforced when one considers Benjamin's distinction between the nature of knowledge and the nature of truth, a distinction made manifest in terms of how readers must transform the material presented to them. Benjamin believed knowledge was amenable to systematic statement and theory, a style that required no active participation on the part of the reader. Truth, in contrast, rejected a sequence of ordered presentation, requiring of the reader instead a disjunctive, fragmented style with which the reader, as Benjamin implied, must stop and restart < previous page page_42 next page > If you like this book, buy it!
24 Accepting a pluriverse incapable of algorithmic compression, scientists accept knowledge without totalization. In so doing, scientists also accept that acquisition of knowledge is not only derivative and intuitive but negotiated, an interactive process requiring that they enact certain virtues, including an acceptance of the inherent diversity of experience, a toleration for error, and especially a talent for metaphor, the willingness to bend and adjust to new ways of thinking necessary when new experience contravenes previous metaphors.
S. ''2 If the world in general has lost touch with the primordial forces of life, literate people can regain historical consciousness by reading "big books'' like The Recognitions that are chock-full of mythic fragments that can shore up the ruins of the demythologized landscape. Within the novel itself, the mythic quests of identity and consubstantiality seem to provide the scaffolding for the life of the novel's protagonist, the artist/priest Wyatt Gwyon. The author < previous page page_47 next page > If you like this book, buy it!