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Apparitions-Of Derrida's Other

Kas Saghafi

Publication Year: 2010

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.

Published by: Fordham University Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-viii


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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xii

The essays collected in this book were written over a number of years, many of them arising from my participation in the project undertaken by Michael Naas and Pascale-Anne Brault to translate and to collect Jacques Derrida’s various “texts of mourning,” which...


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pp. xiii-xviii

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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...

Part I: Analogies

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“An Almost Unheard-of Analogy”

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pp. 7-28

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...

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This Monstrous Figure without Figure or Face

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pp. 29-49

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...

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"‘Ça’ me regarde” Regarding Responsibility in Derrida

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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...

Part II: Apparitions

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The Ghost of Jacques Derrida

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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 movie Ghost Dance.2 These...

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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. The punctum, the absolute singularity of the other, points at me. Pierced and punctured by its gaze, like the stare of Cyclops’s eye, I am...

Part III: Approaches

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By the Board: Derrida Approaching Blanchot

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pp. 119-127

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...

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Salut-ations: Between Derrida and Nancy

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pp. 128-146

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...


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pp. 147-198


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pp. 199-202

Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

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pp. 203-206

E-ISBN-13: 9780823247448
Print-ISBN-13: 9780823231621
Print-ISBN-10: 0823231623

Page Count: 200
Publication Year: 2010