Handshake

Derrida Today 1 (2):167-184 (2008)
Abstract
How might Derrida be said to greet Jean-Luc Nancy in Le Toucher? What kind of handshake does he offer? Derrida explicitly mentions the handshake at the very centre of his book, in the tangent devoted to Merleau-Ponty. A reading of this moment reveals an exemplary case of what happens when Derrida reads apparently ‘fraternal’ texts, and opens up further levels of difference. What then if we consider Nancy's response to Derrida, when the recipient of the handshake shakes back? By examining Nancy's various (mis-)readings of Derrida's famous phrase ‘la différance finie est infinie’ it is possible to trace a subtle but irreducible non-reciprocity in this relationship, represented in the handshake of the ‘salut’ as greeting and valediction, beyond all safety or salvation
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