Catherine Malabou, Jacques Derrida's Counterpath: Traveling with Jacques Derrida PDF

By Catherine Malabou, Jacques Derrida

Counterpath is a collaborative paintings by way of Catherine Malabou and Jacques Derrida that solutions to the gamble inherent within the suggestion of “travelling with” the thinker of deconstruction. Malabou's readerly textual content of quotations and statement demonstrates how Derrida's paintings, whereas showing to be something yet a travelogue, is however replete with references to geographical and topographical destinations, and features as a type of counter-Odyssey via which means, theorizing, and thematizing notions of arrival, drifting, derivation, and disaster. actually, through going immediately to the guts of the Derridean proposal of “spacing,” she eventually makes it look as if Derrida hasn't ever written approximately whatever yet trip. Malabou's textual content is punctuated via a chain of postcards got via Derrida from locations resembling Istanbul and Porto, Laguna seashore and Athens, that are encouraged by means of his studying of her evolving dialogue. Writing in a well-known and unguarded demeanour, as though he have been “on holiday” from his personal writing, Derrida nonetheless is still completely trustworthy to that paintings and invitations the reader to mirror on a lot of what haunts his texts in addition to his lifestyle, questions of distance and demise, the relation to the opposite, and exile..

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Additional info for Counterpath: Traveling with Jacques Derrida

Sample text

There is a d ifference. " l I That means that one never possesses a language-not even one's mother tongue-as an object or chattel: There is no given l anguage, or rather there is some language, a gift of l an­ guage (es gibt die Sprache) , but there i s not a language. Not a g iven one. It does not exi st. L i ke the hospital ity of the host even before any i nvitation, it summons when summoned . 1 2 There is my language, but in order, precisely, that it be mine, I must in­ vent it my whole life through, enter it in my own way, delineate my style within it (my "prior-to-the-first l anguage") 13; conquer a space in it that is no longer just language, but my language within the language without which I wouldn't be able to speak.

In a sense I am therefore required to colonize my own language. At the same time, this idiom that I invent is not ab­ solutely peculiar to me, for it bears the scars of another colonization: every integral style takes on, interiorizes rules that don't belong to it but which I I Pathway 2: Traversal-Foreword 51 issue from the law of the mother tongue, its history, the political genealogy of its institutions. I am therefore always at once master and hostage of my language, only inhabiting it from the position of speech's originary exile.

Interrogating the sense of today's date is an enterprise that, in many respects, might seem absurd: today is ageless. But it remains that "agelessness" always has a today and in that sense it al­ lows itself to be dated. In what respect can our today be said to mark its date? " All the catastrophes that affect the world are produced in the imminence or the threat of the radical event that is atomic warfare. "8 The possibility of this catastrophe, which has emerged only in the twentieth century, is that of the absolute destruction of the world.

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