Oxford Literary Review 44 (1):1-16 (2022)

Remembrance involves so many shots in the dark, part of an effort to locate the disappeared as they clock out. In the dead center of Hölderlin’s hymn, Andenken, the question flares: ‘But–where are my friends?’ Nancy, writing on Derrida’s inconceivable demise, says we await them, demanding a return in some form, drawing on a shadowing nearness, maybe an image that appears in distinction to the non-image of the living friend. Have they really elapsed –? Or, are they bound to show up at midnight, like the Rat Man’s father or Hamlet’s ghost? Derrida wonders if we don’t take another few laps with them, worried and anxious about their well-being over there. Ach! Give us the off chance of an apparition, a sign, an alias vanishing down the block. With Derrida Nancy turns a radical corner: We don’t have at hand the syntax to say a disappearance so resolute. We have no cause to assert a fact that is not fact, the factum negativum, of one perpetually disappearing. For nobody is dead, not so dead or dead so, as if we were not still involved in naming a state of being, of being de-parted. That is why he offers a sidebar on rethinking the philosophical formulation, ‘God is dead’.
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DOI 10.3366/olr.2022.0372
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