I don't think "I really liked it" is a proper way of describing my attitude towards this book. It is probably one of the most important books and, cerI don't think "I really liked it" is a proper way of describing my attitude towards this book. It is probably one of the most important books and, certainly, the most difficult book in my reading history (and, mind you, I've read few of Lacan's texts as well). It takes a lot of patience and self-discipline to get to the end, but when you finish you truly feel victorious. Fortunately for me (I am not particularly patient or disciplined), I had someone to read this book with and I deeply believe it is a way to go. My friend and I, we were meeting in various cafes to discuss the ideas that Levinas tries to develop. Not only did it give me a feeling that I wasn't alone in my confusion and lack of understanding, but it actually helped to develop quite exciting interpretations and find a way to grasp Levinas's meandring thought.
I think this book is a must for those interested in ethics. The basis of Levinas's ethics is an encounter with the other. Out of this encounter, the subject emerges as responsible beyond its capabilities. I wouldn't like to summarize the book bacause I still don't feel that familiar with the concepts. I guess it takes more hours of serious study to fully embrace and comprehend this philosophy.
It is also a useful read for literature and litarary theory students. The notions of "the said" and "the saying," which he developes carefully, might be particularly interesting.
If you are not into ethics or literature, you might want to read it just because it's a pretty puzzling way of thinking, a new system through which you can perceive the world differently. It's a great exercise for both intellect and will. And, to be honest, sometimes it's just breathtakingly beautiful.