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Derrida and Autobiography by Robert Smith

By Robert Smith

The paintings of Jacques Derrida could be noticeable to reinvent such a lot theories; right here Robert Smith bargains a studying of the philosophy of Derrida and an research of theories of autobiography. Smith argues that for Derrida autobiography isn't really loads a normal situation of proposal as a common of writing that mocks any self-centered finitude of dwelling and demise. during this context, Smith thinks via Derrida's texts in a brand new means, and reveals new views to research classical writers together with Hegel, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Freud and de guy.

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7 Once the legalistic attachment is severed, or rather before it comes along to claim the name for its bearer, we are opened to the confusions of chance and the haphazard constellation of nominal effects (not unlike the lexical vault of a Mallarme poem, say). The chanciness will nonetheless remain autobiographical, for while the proper name disperses and scatters throughout language, that language is everywhere - here and there - therefore named, named as unique, with an 'ocelle comme pas un' (OCPU), a distinctive mark like no other, but no longer in ultimate reference to a subjective bearer of it, to a subject with properties, that is.

The Derridean figure of saving differs from the Hegelian saviour - ultimately for Hegel the Saviour, Jesus Christ - for the latter constitutes a figure of anticipated absolute completion on a higher plane. The Derridean figure is by contrast what is left over from Christian trinitarianism in Hegel's version. Namely? Judaism in general perhaps, but a Judaism converging upon Esther as a figure of the apocryphal, of what is left over after Christian typological summation, she who saves the Jews from the holocaust, sifting like Cinderella through spodogenous matter, and who by lucky chance has a name that forms a near anagram of remains - 'les restes'.

And history has to be the history of guilt, for history is used to take the blame, arising when anxiety needs to be diverted, history invented as the vehicle, the scapegoat, to ride the blame away in a tragic expulsion. Thus can error be historicised, cast in the form of external necessity and bad contingency, made subordinate. That clears the stage for the poetics of reason I mentioned in the last chapter, acceding to a noble language of elegy so as to gesture that error might have been otherwise, being historical, indeed might never have been at all; while at the same time filling itself out through its jeremiad.

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