Chronicle of Separation: On Deconstruction's Disillusioned Love

Chronicle of Separation: On Deconstruction's Disillusioned Love

MICHAL BEN-NAFTALI
Translated by MIRJAM HADAR
Copyright Date: 2015
Published by: Fordham University Press
Pages: 240
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt14jxrfv
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  • Book Info
    Chronicle of Separation: On Deconstruction's Disillusioned Love
    Book Description:

    A unique feminist approach to the legacy of Jacques Derrida, Chronicle of Separation is a disparate yet beautifully interwoven series of distinct readings, genres, and themes, offering a powerful reflection of love in-and as-deconstruction. Looking especially at relationships between women, Ben-Naftali provides a wide-ranging investigation of interpersonal relationships: the love of a teacher, the anxiety-ridden bond between a mother and daughter as manifested in anorexia, passion between two women, love after separation and in mourning, the tension between one's self and the internalized other. Traversing each of these investigations, Chronicle of Separation takes up Derrida's Memoires for Paul de Man and The Post Card, Lillian Hellman's famed friendship with a woman named Julia, and adaptations of the biblical Book of Ruth. Above all, it is a treatise on the love of theory in the name of poetry, a passionate book on love and friendship.

    eISBN: 978-0-8232-6583-1
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. FOREWORD: FRIENDSHIP, UNAUTHORIZED
    (pp. vii-xviii)
    AVITAL RONELL

    Maybe we were meant to be friends. Yet, so much militated against such an extravagance:the hypothesis that we were meant to be friends. Language, philosophical habits and markers, existentially pitched checkpoints were stacked against us. On what basis could I possibly befriend Michal B.—according to what ledger of determinations, approved contingencies, contractual loopholes, or transferential coordinates? The blocked passage to friendship remains a dilemma for those constituted, if only in passing, as women. The restrictive covenant is a rigorous part of the order of things. When you’re a girl, friendship doesn’t just happen; you have to be willing...

  4. PREFACE
    (pp. xix-xxx)
  5. 1 FROM ABSOLUTE LOVE TO THE POLITICS OF FRIENDSHIP
    (pp. 1-29)

    Friendship is at issue in several of Derrida’s writings, especially from the 1980s onward:Memoires for Paul de Man, “Like the Sound of the Sea Deep within a Shell: Paul de Man’s War,”Politics of Friendship,The Work of Mourning.¹ These works seem to plot two poles in his thinking: one attempts to sketch an absolute, non-economic and asymmetric friendship, and the other a political–economic friendship. Yet, given the elaborations of the notion of friendship that Derrida offers, deconstruction as such could be regarded as an enactment of friendship, an enactment of the emotional psychodynamic that attends upon friendship,...

  6. 2 LET’S SHOW OUR (POST) CARDS
    (pp. 30-51)

    From the point of view of postal systems, letters are not a marginal genre. This may seem a trivial statement, but it isn’t when post or address suggest the condition of being of, and constitute a condition of possibility for reflection on, the cultural and political present and on cultural and political history; for bringing together here and now, as well as in the past, broken hearts separated by seemingly great distances. This is not about the actual correspondence between thinkers, and not about the dispatch of their ideas in letters or on post cards. Friedrich Schiller’sOn the Aesthetic...

  7. 3 JULIA
    (pp. 52-69)

    Julia(1977), Fred Zinnemann’s film based onPentimentoandAn Unfinished Woman,¹ two parts of the autobiographical works of the Jewish American playwright Lillian Hellman, registers different levels of misunderstanding — direct, indirect, explicit, and implicit.

    But what about Paris? What about Rome?

    Lilly, you aren’t listening.

    I am listening.

    There is hope in the world, at last,says Julia to Lillian who has come to visit her in Oxford. She wants to move to Vienna, finish her medical studies, and work with Professor Freud, for Vienna has become a place where workers can be creative.

    Do you understand?

    Yes, of...

  8. 4 “AND SHE DID EAT AND WAS SUFFICED AND LEFT”: DECONSTRUCTION AS AN ANOREXIC PERSPECTIVE
    (pp. 70-131)

    It is a long time since deconstruction first offended against good taste, subverting, infringing, expanding, and reducing almost across the board: philosophy, ethics, law, aesthetics, politics, academia, languages, cultures, concepts.

    What is its relation—deconstruction with its free, as it were light, movements—to the boundaries of the anorexic world, not to be crossed, its doors tightly shut, heavy, covering a bottomless pit, an open mouth the code to whose lock was lost long ago? And yet.

    For unlike in the traditional philosophical discussion which, even if it touches the extremes of hedonism and ascesis, avid gluttony and self-denial, has...

  9. 5 THE BOOK OF RUTH
    (pp. 132-172)

    Short and laconic, the Book of Ruth, read annually during the feast of Shavuot, is a multi-layered text given to many different, necessarily selective, readings: from those motivated by theological-ethnocentric presuppositions to feministoriented readings; from structuralist readings, committed to either explicit or implicit patterns of meaning, to poststructuralist ones which ignore any single textual center.

    It is hard to miss the story’s patriarchic metanarrative: The women’s fate is determined by men who strive to perpetuate their name by giving birth, there where natural and human circles coincide. Not only does the book or the scroll end with an exclusively masculine...

  10. EPILOGUE
    (pp. 173-174)
  11. NOTES
    (pp. 175-188)
  12. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 189-194)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 195-200)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 201-202)