Always a term sonorous in its pr`onouncement and import, “archive” assumed even greater cache in its articulation by Derrida. Conservationist resonances of the notion were set in conversation with law, memory, and psychoanalysis. The yield was a feverish recognition that the putative verification and assurance yielded by the archives are, in sum, only “best practices” always determined by archons wielding hermeneutic authority. The feverish quest to still or dam the death urge registered in forgetting and the forgotten dead by recourse to the archive is never a success, only a fevered palimpsest. With Derrida’s enunciation in play, one can bring to the scholarly forefront the work of Zora Neale Hurston in its diaspora valences. Moses Man of the Mountain in combination with Hurston’s “Characteristics of Negro Expression” can lead to a reading of a hermeneutics of “relation” rather than set one in feverish quest to arrest time with “history” and “canons.” Invoking the labors of Joy DeGruy Leary, Vincent Wimbush, Édouard Glissant, and Richard Iton in the domains of trauma, emergency, intuition, and popular culture yields a practice of “reading darkly” to discover the fantastic creative vibrancy against trauma and the salvific memorial import of everyday life in black diaspora.


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