Tag Archives: Letter

A Letter I Received in 1989 from Emmanuel Levinas

In 1989 I wrote Levinas telling him how much I loved his work. He wrote back with a very touching letter. This February I started a dialog with one of the foremost scholars on Levinas, Richard A. Cohen, to find out if an archive for Levinas’ writing existed. Apparently, there is no archive for scholars, but Professor Cohen suggested that he would be happy to be the caretaker of the letter. Professor Cohen is in the Department of Jewish Thought at the University at Buffalo in New York. On October 4th I sent Professor Cohen the original letter from Levinas, the original envelope from Levinas, my initial letter and the only translation I ever had from French to English of the letter. Some of Levinas’ handwriting is hard to read. I am hoping Dr. Cohen may be able to translate the letter more fully. If anyone can help with this translation I will add it to this post (please, text only in main body of email). I have attached photos of the original letter and envelope, my original letter to Levinas and the only translation I have so far. After I put this post together, I noticed something a bit odd – I originally sent my letter to Levinas on February 28th, 1989. Levinas replied on April 28th, 1989. Quite unintentionally, I first contacted Professor Cohen on February 28, 2018. Interesting…

Here is the only translation I have:

Here is a copy of the original letter in French, Page 1:

    Here is a copy of the original letter in French, Page 2:

Here is the front of the original envelope:

Here is the back of the envelope:

My Original Letter to Levinas – Page 1:

My Original Letter to Levinas – Page 2:

My Original Letter to Levinas – Page 3: