Unhoming Pigeons: The Postal Principle in Lynn Hershman Leeson and Hussein Chalayan

Derrida Today 5 (1):92-110 (2012)
In this article I bring together Jacques Derrida and Luce Irigaray's engagements with Sigmund Freud's vexed attempt to step beyond the pleasure principle. Derrida's speculations on the name, the house and the practice of Freud find him inadvertently rewriting the conditions of the autobiographical as that which erases as much as inscribes, while Irigaray requires a sexually different modelling of what we call language if the experience of the girl is to be addressed. Yet Irigaray uncannily repeats the teleological gesture of laying claim to a legacy, diagnosed in Freud by Derrida, even as this legacy is newly imagined as that of the feminine to which Freud remained blind. I then interweave these revised stakes of the fort-da game as they are expressed in two experimental films; Lynn Hershman Leeson's feature Conceiving Ada (USA, 1997) and Hussein Chalayan's short Absent Presence (UK/Turkey, 2005). One self-consciously concerns the recovery of ‘lost’ women from history (da!), the other investigates the treatment of the foreigner staged with an all-female cast (in which the instability of foreign objects can secure no fortification for the scientific subject). The films differently engage fantasies concerning genetics, and differently engage the projection of a legacy as teleological ambition. Privileging Derrida's transformation of the pleasure into the postal principle as that which invokes ‘Tele–without telos’, I ask after the transmissibility of this ambition
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.3366/drt.2012.0030
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 21,496
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Daniel Orrells (2010). Derrida's Impression of Gradiva. In Miriam Leonard (ed.), Derrida and Antiquity. Oxford University Press 159.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

17 ( #224,852 of 1,911,908 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #182,520 of 1,911,908 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.