'Pardon for not meaning': Remarks on Derrida, Blanchot and Kafka

Derrida Today 2 (2):245-259 (2009)
Jacques Derrida returns relentlessly to the question of literature which is already a prominent concern in early texts such as Writing and Difference. The focus of this article is the conception of literature in ‘Literature in Secret: An Impossible Filiation’, in which Derrida discusses filiation with reference to Abraham and Isaac, the fundamental necessity of secrecy and the notion of the pardon. Above all, it is Kafka's Letter to His Father which perhaps provides a paradigm for defining literature. In this specular address, the promise of a heritage is in the balance. Writing incessantly on Kafka, Maurice Blanchot also reflects on literature. The notion of literature put forward by Derrida in ‘Literature in Secret: An Impossible Filiation’ is considered in this article, as well as reflections by Blanchot, to show what might be at stake in Kafka's Letter to His Father
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DOI 10.3366/E1754850009000578
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Jacques Derrida (1998). Of Grammatology. Johns Hopkins University Press.
Jacques Derrida (2008). The Gift of Death. University of Chicago Press.

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