Jacques Derrida

Language: English

Pages: 400

ISBN: 0226143341

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

"The English version of Dissemination [is] an able translation by Barbara Johnson . . . . Derrida's central contention is that language is haunted by dispersal, absence, loss, the risk of unmeaning, a risk which is starkly embodied in all writing. The distinction between philosophy and literature therefore becomes of secondary importance. Philosophy vainly attempts to control the irrecoverable dissemination of its own meaning, it strives—against the grain of language—to offer a sober revelation of truth. Literature—on the other hand—flaunts its own meretriciousness, abandons itself to the Dionysiac play of language. In Dissemination—more than any previous work—Derrida joins in the revelry, weaving a complex pattern of puns, verbal echoes and allusions, intended to 'deconstruct' both the pretension of criticism to tell the truth about literature, and the pretension of philosophy to the literature of truth."—Peter Dews, New Statesman





















sharp, capered edge. He pitches ir forcefully inro the air ... rhe chain is cur through rhe middle, like grass by a scythe, and rhe culr object falls ro the ground, spilling its oil on rhe flagstones ..... " ... shoving rhe OUTWO RK Maldoror, dissemination also displaces a whole ontospeleology, another name for mimetology: not mimesis, an enigma of redoubtable power, but an interpretation of mimesis that misapprehends and distorts the logic of the double and of all that has elsewhere been

XVIII, 273-74}), and the rest. In lapidary fashion, one could lay our the infinitely opened and turned-back series of these equivalents: srone--romb--erecr-stiff--dead, ere. Dissemination would always arrive on the scene ro threaten signification. 42 OUTWOR K between the text and what seems to lie beyond its fringes, what is classed as the real. Along with an ordered extension of the concept of text, dissemination inscribes a different law governin g effects of sense or referente (the

locus of archetypes, the relay point of the topos noetos or the topos ouranios. A writing that was representative and true, adequate to its model and to itself, Nature was also an ordered totality, the volume of a book weighty with meaning, giving itself to the reader, which must also mean the hearer, as if it were a spoken word, passing from ear to ear and from mind to mind {aentendement a entendement]. "The eye listens" (Claudel) when the book has as its vocation the proffering of divine logos.

nore: "The scribe has made a misrake here in his enumeration. He s"ou1d have said: imitM rhe iron casker is ... ere.'' (lcem 1efr as evidence for a logic of inclusion).} And rhere is a schoene [in Pro1emy's day, equal ro abour 12,000 royal cubics of 4. The Pharmakon This is che malady in chem all for which law muse find apharmalum. Now ic is a sound old adage chac ic is hard co fighc against cwo enemies ac onc~ven when chey are enemies from opposite quarcers. We see che cruch of chis in

with opinion in the soul, the power of incantation is wont to beguile it (ethelxe) and persuade it and alter it by witchcraft (goiteiai). There have been discovered two arts of witchcraft and magic: one consists of errors of soul and the other of deceptions of opinion. . . . What cause then n6 PLATO'S PHARMACY prevents the conclusion that Helen similarly, against her will, might have come under the influence (humnos) of speech, just as if ravished by the force of the mighty? . . . For speech

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