An almost unheard-of analogy : Derrida reading Levinas -- This monstrous figure without figure or face -- Ça me regarde : regarding responsibility in Derrida -- The ghost of Jacques Derrida -- Phantasmaphotography -- By the board : Derrida approaching Blanchot -- Salutations : between Derrida and Nancy.
My dissertation, "Apparitions---Of the Other in Contemporary French Philosophy," examines how a number of French thinkers have taken up and transformed the understanding of "the other [l'autre ]" and "the relationship to the other" inherited from the phenomenological tradition. Through an examination of the notion of "the neutral" and its relation to Hegelian dialectics and difference in the works of Derrida, Levinas, Blanchot, and others, I argue that the other first appears to us as a "neutral figure." This "neutral" figure, (...) which is not an object of immediate intuition or originary perception, and which eludes all determination and classification, at first suspends the moment of judgment and decision regarding its identity. Further, I show that this suspension is occasioned by "the gaze or look of the other." This look, which I am never able to return or master, and which obligates me and makes me wholly responsible, functions as the source of all responsibility to the other. In addition to asking "Who or what is the other?" my dissertation poses the question: "How does the other come to us or appear to us?" I demonstrate that the coming or the appearance of the other requires an analysis of phenomenality and visibility, and necessitates a thorough reevaluation of what has been understood as the "image.". (shrink)
In the summer of 1997 one could scarcely enter a bookstore in Beijing without encountering Wang Xiaobo's pensive and defiant look on the cover of dozens of books displayed at the entrance. Wang had suddenly died in the spring of that year at the age of forty-five. Born in Beijing in 1952 to a family of intellectuals, he remained attached to China's capital despite periods of separation, such as during the Cultural Revolution, when he was sent to Yunnan to "learn (...) from the peasants" and taught in a "people-run-school" in Shandong, and also during the 1980s, when he studied in the United States . Wang always returned to Beijing, in the late 1970s to study economy and business at the People's University and in the late 1980s to teach there. After retiring in 1993, he devoted his time to writing: poetry, novels, essays, non-fiction, and a movie script. (shrink)
An exploration of the occurrence of the words “safe” and “intact” in the writings of Derrida and Nancy, the author likes to suggest, allows us to catch a glimpse of some of the fundamental differences between the late works of these two thinkers as well as to distinguish the most salient features of their divergent interpretations of deconstruction. This chapter concentrates on the intersection of the later writings of Derrida and Nancy concerning the general topic of “religion”. What is of (...) particular interest is the significant role that the interpretation of the term salut ‐ which in French has two meanings “greeting, salutation” as well as “salvation” ‐ plays in this interaction. In broad outlines, for Derrida, the goal of “religion”, if it can be said to have one, is to keep the living – the adherents of “religion” ‐ safe, unscathed, and intact. (shrink)
In response to Thomas Dutoit's ambitious summary of the two years of Derrida's Death Penalty Seminars, I take up the following themes: the deconstruction of death, Hugo's “advance,” and “the principle of substitution” in Freud.
This essay examines the phrase—“here, now, yes, believe me, I believe in ghosts”—a phrase uttered by Derrida in a fi lmed interview. It takes up Derrida’s avowalof belief in ghosts, not simply to explain the signifi cance of “ghosts,” simulacra, doubles, hence images, in Derrida’s work and to show their relation to death and mourning, or to merely draw an analogy between the structure of doubles or simulacra and what we may call “synthetic” images, but also to attend to the (...) alliance between the image, the ghostly, and belief. (shrink)
What remains? Who remains? What of the remainder? In a complex, illuminating late essay, ‘Remain – the Master, or the Supplement of Infinity’, Derrida conjoins the two registers of the philosophical and the ‘cultural’ in which the remainder, remains, and leftovers operate. An ‘analogy’ is drawn between two vastly different ‘cultures’ – the Greco-European and the Brahmanic of India – and their relationship to remains.
In several late texts, Derrida meditated on Paul Celan's poem ‘Grosse, Glühende Wölbung’, in which the departure of the world is announced. Delving into the ‘origin’ and ‘history’ of the ‘conception’ of the world, this paper suggests that, for Derrida, the end of the world is determined by and from death—the death of the other. The death of the other marks, each and every time, the absolute end of the world.
In this book, Kas Saghafi argues that the notion of "the end the world" in Derrida's late work is not a theological or cosmological matter, but a meditation on mourning and the death of the other. He examines this and several other tightly knit motifs in Derrida's work: mourning, survival, the phantasm, the event, and most significantly, the term salut, which in French means at once greeting and salvation. An underlying concern of The World after the End of the World (...) is whether a discourse on salut (saving, being saved, and salvation) can be dissociated from discourse on religion. Saghafi compares Derrida's thought along these lines with similar concerns of Jean-Luc Nancy's. Combining analysis of these themes with reflections on personal loss, this book maintains that, for Derrida, salutation, greeting, and welcoming is resistant to the economy of salvation. This resistance calls for what Derrida refers to as a "spectro-poetics" devoted to and assigned to the other's singularity. (shrink)