Apparitions-Of Derrida's Other

Apparitions-Of Derrida's Other

Copyright Date: 2010
Published by: Fordham University Press
Pages: 200
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  • Book Info
    Apparitions-Of Derrida's Other
    Book Description:

    The chapters of this book revolve around the notion of the other in Jacques Derrida's work. How does Derrida write of and on the other? Arguing that Derrida offers the most attentive and responsible thinking about the undeniable experience of the alterity of the other,Apparitions--of Derrida's Other examines exemplary instances of the relation to the other--the relation of Moses to God, Derrida's friendship with Jean-Luc Nancy, Derrida's relation to a recently departed actress caught on video, among others--to demonstrate how Derrida forces us to reconceive who or what the other may be. For Derrida, the singularity of the other, always written in the lower case, includes not only the formal or logical sense of alterity, the otherness of the human other, but also the otherness of the nonliving, the no longer living, or the not yet alive. The book explores welcoming and hospitality, salutation and greeting, approaching,and mourning as constitutive facets of the relation to these others. Addressing Derrida's readings of Husserl, Levinas, Barthes, Blanchot, and Nancy, among other thinkers, and ranging across a number of disciplines, including art, literature, philosophy, and religion, this book explores the apparitions of the other by attending to the mode of appearing or coming on the scene, the phenomenality and visibility of the other. Analyzing some of Derrida's essays on the visual arts, the book also demonstrates that video and photography display an intimate relation to spectrality,as well as a structural relation to the absolute singularity of the other.

    eISBN: 978-0-8232-4744-8
    Subjects: Art & Art History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xiii-xviii)
  5. ——duction
    (pp. 1-4)

    What does it mean to introduce a book of essays? How does an introduction generally function? What is the role of the introduction in academic books? Do all books require an introduction? These questions are, of course, neither new nor profound. In a book on Jacques Derrida’s work, they are even banal. For, was it not Derrida himself who, in “Hors livre,” the famous beginning toDissemination, wrote extensively on the function of a preface, in particular in Hegel’s work, and argued that thepre-of the preface serves to reduce the future, what is to come, to the form of...

  6. Part I: Analogies
    • 1 “An Almost Unheard-of Analogy”: Derrida Reading Levinas
      (pp. 7-28)

      Show yourself! Reveal yourself to me so that I can see you!

      This is the demand—the appeal—that Moses addresses to God. In the well-known passage from the Book of Exodus, Moses is said to implore God: “I beseech thee, show me thy glory” (Exod. 33:18 AV). However, his entreaty is swiftly denied when God replies: “Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live” (Exod. 33:20). All that Moses can hope for is to see the “back parts” of God. “But my face,” he is assured, “shall not be seen” (Exod. 33:23)....

    • 2 This Monstrous Figure without Figure or Face
      (pp. 29-49)

      What is coming shall be monstrous. It shall have thefigure without figure or face(figure sans figure) of a monster.¹

      And yet, what kind of shape or “form” does the monstrous have? No anticipation can prepare one to identify this figure, this “formless” form for which one does not yet have, perhaps never will have, a name. That which cannot be figured, the unacceptable, the intolerable, comes as a monster. Without precedence, without tradition, it shows itself, yet will go unrecognized. For the monstrous is not simply grotesque, aberrant, or deviant, a strange, misshapen anomaly, but is also a...

    • 3 “‘Ça’ me regarde”: Regarding Responsibility in Derrida
      (pp. 50-62)

      Three texts and three looks; three scenes of repetition—the repetition of a spectral regard whose look cannot be returned—and three singular instances of the relation to the other—Abraham’s relation to God, the relation toHamlet’s Ghost in Shakespeare’s eponymous drama, and the relation to the otherworldly gaze of a recently departed actress—in which responsibility is instituted toward that which cannot be seen yet demands a response.¹

      In what follows, it is my suggestion that an important dimension of what Derrida has called “spectrality” has to do with this look or gaze of the other.² To explore...

  7. Part II: Apparitions
    • 4 The Ghost of Jacques Derrida
      (pp. 65-82)

      “Here, now, yes, believe me, I believe in ghosts [crois-moi, je crois aux fantômes].”¹ So declares Jacques Derrida, recounting the words of another, words that were once pronounced to him by Pascale Ogier during the filming of the movieGhost Dance.² These words, repeated in a filmed interview with Bernard Stiegler, form part of a book entitledEchographies of Televisionpublished in 1996. In this interview, Derrida describes the singular, “strange,” and “unreal” experience of filming a scene in his office for Ken McMullen’s movie, a scene in which he and Ogier sit face-to-face, looking at each other, into one...

    • 5 Phantasmaphotography
      (pp. 83-98)

      The black orb has me in its sight. At the turn of almost every page a solid black point aims at me straight in the eye. Thepunctum, the absolute singularity of the other, points at me. Pierced and punctured by its gaze, like the stare of Cyclops’s eye, I am its only concern, for it addresses solely me.

      Composed of a series of fragmentary paragraphs or sections, each separated from the other—punctuated, Derrida would say—by a solid black circle or point which links together the passages that it separates, and which, with more than a wink, refers...

  8. Part III: Approaches
    • 6 By the Board: Derrida Approaching Blanchot
      (pp. 101-127)

      This time, I decided to get on board.

      But how else does one get on board thanby the board?

      How to approach the board, that is, the edge, the rim, the borderline, or the shore, a shore that is divided in its very outline? How to approach a text or a work? How to approach the text of the other or the other’s work? How to gain access to and then navigate one’s way around the texts of the other—in this case, those of Maurice Blanchot? Or, more simply, how to read Blanchot? But more generally, how not...

    • 7 Salut-ations: Between Derrida and Nancy
      (pp. 128-146)


      I doff my cap, I take my hat off to you.

      How else to remember and commemorate a great thinker who touched us so, a thinker whom we knew, without knowing, as a living force, a thinker whom we observed from a distance mourn and watch over the work of friends and colleagues? How else than to pay our respects, to salute him, or raise our hat to him? For one must begin by saluting the other, by addressing a greeting to the other, as there is asalutat each moment of encounter or leave-taking, at every meeting...

  9. Notes
    (pp. 147-198)
  10. Index
    (pp. 199-202)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 203-206)