The Gift and the Return: Deconstructing Mary Shelley's Lodore

Derrida Today 4 (1):44-58 (2011)
This paper begins with Barbara Johnson's examination of the erasure of sexual difference within the Yale school, and in particular her comments upon the work of Mary Shelley. Taking up hints in her statements about the relation between Mary Shelley's work and deconstruction, I suggest a reading of Mary Shelley's penultimate novel, Lodore, in relation to Derrida's Given Time. Lodore, which traditionally appeared a rather conservative novel to Mary Shelley's critics, has a number of parallels in its plot to the logic of the gift as set out in Derrida's text. It also, however, allows us to begin to think through the related concept of the return, so crucial to both of the Shelley's thinking and writing. The essay analyses Lodore in relation to Derrida's account of the impossibility of the gift, in order, eventually, to move towards some comments about sexual difference, the novel, the gift and the return.
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DOI 10.3366/drt.2011.0005
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Jacques Derrida (2014). Cinders. Univ of Minnesota Press.
Jacques Derrida (1982). Dissemination. University of Chicago Press.

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Antonio Malo (2012). The Limits of Marion's and Derrida's Philosophy of the Gift. International Philosophical Quarterly 52 (2):149-168.

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