Abstract

The essay reviews features of Derrida's reading of Rousseau in De la grammatologie. It asks in what sense Derrida does justice to "Rousseau." It is a matter cutting away, of découpage, to reach what is "irreducibly proper," which consists, Derrida demonstrates, in a blind spot. A blindness to the paradoxical "logic" of supplementarity insists across Rousseau's oeuvre no less than through his "life." How can a blind spot be what is most proper? At once it belongs and does not belong to the author's signed work; le supplément is properly intended by his discourse, but in order to become legible this intention has to deviate through a point it cannot intend. This necessary deviation is a condition both of possibility of proper meaning and of its impossibility as proper. To do justice by undoing a text around its blind spot is to respond to this articulation of possibility with impossibility. The essay concludes by taking up Derrida's phrase "The Age of 'Rousseau'" to ask after "The Age of 'Derrida'" now unfolding in the blind spot of its history.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 395-404
Launched on MUSE
2007-04-16
Open Access
No
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