This misspelling highlights the fact that its written form is not heard, and serves to further subvert the traditional privileging of speech over writing see archi-writing and logocentrismas well as the distinction between the sensible and the intelligible. The first relating to deferral is the notion that words and signs can never fully summon forth what they mean, but can only be defined through appeal to additional words, from which they differ. Thus, meaning is forever "deferred" or postponed through an endless chain of signifiers. The second relating to differencesometimes referred to as espacement or "spacing" concerns the force that differentiates elements from one another, and in so doing engenders binary oppositions and hierarchies that underpin meaning itself.
Experience of Being, nothing less, nothing more, on the edge of metaphysics, literature perhaps stands on the edge of everything, almost beyond everything, including itself. Its the most interesting thing in the world, maybe more interesting than the world, and this is why, if it has no definition, what is heralded and refused under the name of literature cannot be identified with any other discourse.
It will never be scientific, philosophical, conversational. In fact, this celebration of literature is not a privileging of some distinctiveness of literary language or of aesthetic achievementliterature, Derrida stresses, has no definitionbut it nevertheless gives an importance to literary discourse, its engagement with the world, on the edge of the world, and the engagement that it calls forth in readers, which has the possibility to transform our literary culture.
In a new book The Singularity of Literature, which is largely inspired by Derrida, Derek Attridge writes, Derridas work over the past thirty-five years constitutes the most significant, far-reaching, and inventive exploration of literature for our time. One of the more grotesque aspects of the mediatic reception of Derrida in the United States is the idea that somehow Derridas work and deconstruction generally have constituted an attack on literature.
I recall a meeting of the English Institute in Cambridge some years ago at which Alvin Kernan sought to defend literature against what he said were Derridas attacks on it, attacks which, he explained, involved the claim that all language was meaningless.
Kernan was visibly take aback. It was so obvious a truth that it transcended any source. Derridas writing on and around literature is not so well known as his early work on philosophical texts or even so well known as later engagements with political and ethical texts and issues, such as Specters of Marx.
This is particularly ironic, given the fact that Derrida has been most welcomed by members of literature departments, but perhaps it is not so strange after all, since we literary critics have a professional stake in believing that we already know how to read literature and are eager to learn other things from Derrida: Perhaps also, the writers on whom Derrida has spent the most timeBlanchot, Ponge, Genet, Celanseem special cases, so that his writing about them does not seem so easily generalizable into an approach to the novel, for instance, or to poetry.
The singularity of a work is what enables it to be repeated over and over in events that are never exactly the same.
Stressing this aspect of singularity, as opposed to a traditional notion of uniqueness, Derrida never claims to offer a reading of a text as an organic or self-contained whole but instead to write a text which, in the face of the event of anothers text, tries to respond or to countersign.
The singularity of a work is related to its enlisting of chance, of the contingencies of language, which, for example, in Derridas text Demeure, on Blanchots LInstant de ma mort The Instant of My Deathstructure the word demeure remains but also abode, and abidece qui met en demeureby which one must abide, and what remains abidingly demeure.
Demeure carries a questioning of stability to the heart of memory, of what remains. And such possibilities are a provocation to reading. Reading, Derrida writes, must give itself up to the uniqueness [of the work], take it on board, keep it in mind, take account of it. But for that, for this rendering, you have to sign in your turn, write something else which responds or corresponds in an equally singular, which is to say irreducible, irreplaceable, new way: Rather, one should try to respond with writing that is rich enough and singular enough to provoke responses in its turnnot an easy matter, of course.
Once again, this is scarcely without precedent, but Derridas notion of iterability gives him a conception of the work as a temporal event, to be identified not with the experience of a reader, nor with the act of a historical author, but with a linguistic event whose nature is to repeat.
The concept of iterability, which is crucial to Derridas account of the performative, gives us a notion of literature as performativeperhaps the aspect of Derridas thinking of literature that has become best known, in that his theorization of the performative through iterability has resonated well beyond the realm of literary criticism.
The opening of Moby Dick, Call me Ismael, is only a dramatic version of that performative instituting, whereby readers simultaneously participate in and observe the instituting of the literary scene. What is said is the saying itself. Not only are characters and events brought into being by language but this performative instituting is foregrounded, as event, an event dependent upon fiction and thus a performance of linguistic power.
Whereas we treat much language instrumentally and may experience it as an event, in literary reading we experience not just the event itself but its happening as linguistic event, in a show of linguistic power.
A crucial dimension of Derridas thinking of this performative instituting is the dependence of what we call real events on the structure of fictionality illustrated in such literary events. In Demeure, Derrida writes, the possibility of fiction has structuredbut with a fracture 10 Id.
This constituting structure is a destructuring experience. It is the condition that is common to literature and non-literature. Speaking of this spectral necessity which overflows the opposition between reality and fiction, Derrida argues that there is no testimony which does not structurally imply in itself the possibility of fiction, dissimulation, simulacra, lie and perjurythat is to say the possibility of literature, of the innocent or perverse literature that innocently plays at perverting all of these distinctions.
This helps to explain the formulation with which I began. Literature can be the most interesting thing in the world, more interesting than the world15 because it exceeds the actual but contains its possibilities, as their condition of possibility.
This exceeding is in play in Derridas celebrated reflections, in Passions, an Oblique Offering, on literature and democracyanother unexpected intervention in literary culture. No democracy without literature; no literature without democracy.
One can always want neither one nor the other, and there is no shortage of doing without them under all regimes; it is quite possible to consider neither of them to be unconditional goods and indispensable rights.
But in no case can one dissociate one from the other. No analysis would be equal to it. And each time that a literary work is censured, democracy is in danger, as everyone agrees.
The possibility of literature, the legitimation that a society gives it, the allaying of suspicion or terror with regard to it, all that goes togetherpoliticallywith unlimited right to ask any question, to suspect all dogmatism, to analyze any presupposition, even those of the ethics or the politics of responsibility.
The key role of literature in democracy hinges on the fact that the authorization to say everything [or anything: This authorization to say everything which goes together with democracy as the apparent hyper-responsibility of a subject acknowledges a right to absolute non-response.
This non-response, Derrida continues, is more original and more secret than the modalities of power and duty because it is fundamentally heterogeneous to them.
We find there a hyperbolic condition of democracy which seems to contradict a certain determined and historically limited concept of such a democracy, a concept which links it to the concept of a subject that is calculable, accountable, imputable, and responsible, a subject having-to-respond [devant-repondre], having-to-tell [devant-dire] the truth, having to testify according to the sworn word the whole truth, nothing but the truthbefore the law [devant la loi], having to reveal the secret, with the exception of certain situations that are determinable and regulated by law the confession, the professional secrets of the doctor, the psychoanalyst, or the lawyer, secrets of national defense or state secrets in general, manufacturing secrets, etc.The End of the Book and the Beginning of Writing With regard to the fundamental role of language in his art.
against difference in general. is profoundly alien to the sense of writing. in the work of Kosuth. the signifier and the signified. turned out to be.
unexpectedly. Jacques Derrida initiated a seismic wave throughout the field of literary criticism with the essays collected in Writing and Difference, in particular with the essay “Structure, Sign, and Play.
Différance is a French term coined by Jacques Derrida. It is a central concept in Derrida's deconstruction, a critical outlook concerned with the relationship between text and meaning.
The term différance means "difference and deferral of meaning.". ashio-midori.com Writing and Difference. Jacques Derrida Writing and Difference Translated, with an introduction and additional notes, by Alan Bass London and New York.
First published by Éditions du Seuil This translation ﬁrst published in Great Britain jacques derrida Download jacques derrida or read online here in PDF or EPUB. Please click button to get jacques derrida book now.
All books are in clear copy . This pdf collects Adam Fieled poetry pages from Otoliths, Great Works, Real Poetik, As/Is, transsubmutation, Diode, Cricket Online Review, and more.
This jpeg offers the self-portrait portion of American artist Mary Harju's painting The Fall, which was shown at PAFA, also in jacques derrida, writing and difference, ontology.