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This paper reads Doris Lessing’s The Fifth Child and Ben, in the World by drawing on Emmanuel Levinas’s ethics theory to explicate how the Lovatts in The Fifth Child embody the Heideggerian homeliness of ontology and to show how their rejection and exclusion of Ben represents the secluded interiority of the self. When the face of the other (Ben) shows itself, the ethical dimension that Levinas expects to initiate does not unfold accordingly. Instead, the Lovatts remain silent or even walk away. However, while Ben is away from home and is wandering around in the world in the sequel, he receives warm and hospitable welcomes from Mrs. Briggs and from Teresa who do not even bother to know who he really is. They become the substitution for and hostage of Ben, respectively, as they not only take responsibility for him, but also responsibility of him. In accordance with Levinas’s ethics, which reverses Heidegger’s ontology by emphasizing the dislocation from “here” to “there” and of de-subjectification from “mine” to “the other,” Lessing pursues such Levinasian ethics in terms of textual politics in her two books on Ben.

KEYWORDS: Doris Lessing, The Fifth Child, Ben, in the World, Emmanuel Levinas, ethics

摘 要

本篇以列維納斯的倫理學來閱讀多麗絲‧萊辛的《第五 個孩子》與其續集《浮世畸零人》並討論在《第五個孩子》 中,駱維特家族如何具現了海德格的「本體論式的居家感」, 以及他們拒斥班的行徑如何再現了自我的封閉內向性。當他 者(班)向自我(駱維特家族)展現其臉龐及其他異性時, 在列維納斯思考中所期待的倫理向度並未開展,駱維特家族 反而保持沉默或視而不見。但是在續集《浮世畸零人》中, 當班離開家、在世界遊蕩時,他卻得到了一位貧窮老婦人(畢 格斯太太)與一位妓女(德蕾莎)的熱忱款待。她們不在乎 班到底是誰或是什麼,但卻對他提供了無私的幫忙與照顧。 換句話說,她們成為了班的替代與俘虜,不僅對班負起所有 的責任,連帶地也把班該負的責任都挪到自己的肩上,成為 了「為了他者」的倫理主體。如果列維納斯修正海德格本體 論的方式在於將重點從「自我」移向「他者」、從「此處」 移往「彼方」,那麼萊辛這兩部關於班的作品,透過其文本 政治性,則實踐了列維納斯的倫理哲學。

關鍵字:多麗絲‧萊辛、《第五個孩子》、《浮世畸零人》、 列維納斯、倫理