culture is in the process of being undermined by millions of a species of mole never recognised before. [ Or nous vivons justement cette époque où l’assise conceptuelle d’une culture millénaire est en train d’être sapée par des millions d’une espèce de taupe encore jamais reconnue. ] 6 In the process of being undermined: en train , as she says in French. Like Derrida, I find she was there already, as in an experience of déjà vu , beside oneself, seeing double in the mental field, diplopia underwater, I’m still trying to catch or hold my breath, unclear whether she
Ferdinand de Saussure’s arguments in order to
offer some thoughts on the role of naming in relation to the Kosovo
conflict. Naming concerns the relationship of language and reality.
Using Jacques Derrida’s thought, the second section argues that
the idea of the existence of a reality, which constrains our actions, is
itself a representation, which has political implications. The third
section explores how
representation, lending an empirical tone – by way of a
certain critical distance – to semiotic and cultural analysis;
but they can also be taken to structure academic desire itself which
needs to consume in order to know. This disorientation between
outside and inside I will link to Derrida’s discussion of the
gift as that which – in Mauss’s The Gift –
enables a movement from ‘cold
Post-structuralism – life on a decentred planet
Post-structuralism emerged in France in the late 1960s. The two figures most closely associated with this emergence are Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida (1930–2004). Barthes's work around this time began to shift in character and move from a structuralist phase to a post-structuralist phase. The difference can be seen by comparing two different accounts by Barthes of the nature of the narrative, one from each phase, namely the essay ‘The Structural Analysis of Narrative’ (first published in 1966) and
event, reading Hélène Cixous reading Jacques Derrida reading each other reading themselves reading us. 2
What is the point? ‘No point in writing’. In a chapter of her Portrait of Jacques Derrida as a Young Jewish Saint entitled ‘Point of Honour/Point Donor [ Point Donneur ]’, with the subtitle ‘In which there is no mourning’, Cixous writes of Derrida:
Now, the fundamental axiom of everything he says everywhere is the divisibility of the point .
Everything he writes, everything he thinks is a protest against the point as indivisible. He
Never has a reconsideration of the place of drugs in our culture been more urgent than it is today. Drugs are seen as both panaceas and panapathogens, and the apparent irreconcilability of these alternatives lies at the heart of the cultural crises they are perceived to engender. Yet the meanings attached to drugs are always a function of the places they come to occupy in culture. This book investigates the resources for a re-evaluation of the drugs and culture relation in several key areas of twentieth-century cultural and philosophical theory. Addressing themes such as the nature of consciousness, language and the body, alienation, selfhood, the image and virtuality, the nature/culture dyad and everyday life – as these are expressed in the work of such key figures as Freud, Benjamin, Sartre, Derrida, Foucault and Deleuze – it argues that the ideas and concepts by which modernity has attained its measure of self-understanding are themselves, in various ways, the products of encounters with drugs and their effects. In each case, the reader is directed to the points at which drugs figure in the formulations of ‘high theory’, and it is revealed how such thinking is never itself a drug-free zone. Consequently, there is no ground on which to distinguish ‘culture’ from ‘drug culture’ in the first place.
Through an extensive study of Dickens’s “new art form,” the illustrated novel, Spectral Dickens sets out to transform certain fundamental assumptions about realism, literary forms, and imitation of personhood that have long defined the discourse of novel criticism and character studies. This book redefines and expands the critical discourse on fictional character by bringing a wider range of modern critical theory to the study of Dickens’s characterization, using in particular the three “hauntological” concepts of the Freudian uncanny, Derridean spectrality, and the Lacanian Real to give new ontological dimensions to the basic question: “What is a character?” By taking into account visual forms of representation and emphasizing the importance of form in rethinking the strict opposition between real person and fictional character, Spectral Dickens shifts the focus of character studies from long-entrenched values like “realism,” “depth,” and “lifelikeness,” to nonmimetic critical concepts like effigy, anamorphosis, visuality, and distortion. Ultimately, the “spectral” forms and concepts developed here in relation to Dickens’s unique and innovative characters—characters that have, in fact, always challenged implicit assumptions about the line between fictional character and real person—should have broader applications beyond Dickens’s novels and the Victorian era. The aim here is to provide a richer and more nuanced framework though which to understand fictional characters not as imitations of reality, but as specters of the real.
versions of historicism, have been challenged by the following thinkers: Arendt,
Benjamin, Derrida and Deleuze. The arguments of these thinkers differ, but they
all involve rejecting an account of political time as driven by mechanical causation or teleological end. From these points of view, the idea of thinking about
history either as the authoritative ground for action and judgement or as something that can be scientifically grasped and controlled is fundamentally
For all of these thinkers, the time of politics is associated with
through the graphic surface,
and this relationship may be usefully kept in mind when we examine the
way structuralism and post-structuralism treat the plurality of their
What Jacques Derrida says of Philippe Sollers’s
Numbers (an untranslated French novel that makes full use of its graphic
surface) seems to demonstrate the lengths to which the text extends
pas] . I never shall. They know too much ’ (2/12). Cixous tells us she knows and the dreams know, but we do not, we never shall. She does not, or says she does not, give them away, liberate them, bring them to book.
In ‘Fichus’, a text delivered in Frankfurt on the occasion of receiving the Adorno Prize on 22 September 2001, Jacques Derrida asks:
What’s the difference between dreaming and thinking you’re dreaming? And first of all who has the right to ask that question? The dreamer deep in the experience of his night or the dreamer when he wakes up