Abstract

Through a comparison of Derrida's late essay "Abraham, l'autre" with Gift of Death and Adieu to Emmanuel Levinas this essay illustrates how Derrida in "Abraham, l'autre" extends his efforts to derive a political thinking from Levinas's ethics. At the heart of this political thinking is the mode of "being-Jewish" which Derrida describes as "the experience of deconstruction itself, its chance, its menace, its destiny, its earthquake." Derrida develops a self-deconstructing model of identity by way of the mode of "being Jewish," and in so doing simultaneously critiques Levinas for his use of Judaism as an exemplary model of ethical thinking and capitalizes off the tensions arising out of this model, such that the figure of the Jew becomes ironically exemplary for Derrida of a political identity that would call into question the possibility that one could ever claim it as one's own.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 74-96
Launched on MUSE
2009-02-14
Open Access
No
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