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410Philosophy and Literature die interweaving of Heidegger's interpretation of Spirit as flame and the ashes of die Holocaust. Does this Heideggerian insistence on pure questioning lead dien to sometiiing monstrous? Or is it necessary in a time diat refuses to give thought to Spirit? Todaywheneveryone knowsabout"Heideggerand Nazism," DerridachaUenges us to take both diese questions seriously and ask what "monstrosity" could mean here and what such monstrosity could do with the avoidance—or acknowledgment —of the need to diink of Spirit. Are we open to such a chaUenge? For Heidegger's "external" critics, Derrida wül not seem to take die notion of die "horror" at work in Heideggerian thought seriously enough, whUe for Heidegger's "internal" friends, it wül seem that he is taking it too seriously. These responses reflect the problem that different attunements of thought are not open to each other's horror, and dius refuse its chaUenge. And this leads us to a footnote in which Derrida says "the enigma of die deinon leaves its mark on all the texts we shaU have to approach" (p. 1 16). What enigma is this? Deinon in Greek weaves together terror and wonder in articulating the address of the uncanny. The weaving together of flame and ashes in the way Heidegger's thought of Spirit is translated into his sUence concerning the Holocaust is deinon—bui do we know how to think this? Derrida's reply is to imagine a conversation between Heidegger and certain Christian theologians on the promise ofanother spirituality, a conversation that unfolds in the shadow of the question of the cultural origins of Nazism. This conversation is an attempt to locate a path on which we can experience what is genuinely deinon about the "translation" ofthought into history today. Is such a patii really adequate to the Holocaust? Or to the issues of love and death diat Derrida does not consider here in Heidegger's interpretation of Trakl's poetry? These are questions that Derrida provokes us to pursue, granted that we come, via Heidegger, to that attunement named by deinon that locates the possibUities for thought today. Whitman CollegeThomas Davis Protocols ofReading, by Robert Scholes; xi & 164 pp. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989, $18.95. Adopting andjustifying the semiotic view that "all the world's a text" (p. 1), Robert Scholes studies, in this thought-provoking book, what reading is and Reviews411 what it ought to be. Scholes argues that reading is an intertextual activity, a process through which readers connect die text they read with the texts of dieir lives. He examines the question of what Derrida caUed "protocols of reading"—methods helping to validate readings—and he explores die links between texts read and worlds lived in—readers' activities and ethical concerns. In the first chapter Scholes characterizes two basic dimensions of reading: dirough the centripetal dimension, the attempt is made to read the text in its own terms, to grasp it in its otherness; through the centrifugal dimension, the text is related to the reader's own world or textual repertory. Scholes focuses primarily, however, on the latter dimension, reading such diverse texts as a painting attributed to Georges de La Tour, a photograph by W. Eugene Smith, and European culture during the modernist period (widiJoyce, Mussolini, and Lukács as examples). In the second chapter Scholes discusses the possibUity of a nihUistic hermeneutics that would avoid the pitfaUs of historicism and relativism , interpretive fundamentalism, and vulgar nihilism, while reconcUing the desire for hermeneutic certainty and the realization (or belief!) that any such certainty is impossible. Though he criticizes Derrida's linguistic views—his insufficient consideration of egocentric particulars, his failure to account for language as system, his mythological notion ofwriting—as well as his propensity to think that distinctions must be thoroughly precise to be at all valuable and his uncritical use of the very terms on which his critiques are founded, Scholes argues that, like Derrida, we "have no choice but to read both rigorously and exorbitandy, centripetally and centrifugally at the same time" (p. 88), no choice but to persevere in constructing and deconstructing protocols of reading whUe being aware of their tentativeness and necessity. In...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 410-412
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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