By Jacques Derrida
Acts of Literature, compiled in shut organization with Jacques Derrida, brings jointly for the 1st time a couple of Derrida's writings on literary texts. The essays talk about literary figures resembling Rousseau, Mallarmé, Joyce, Shakespeare, and Kafka, and include items spanning Derrida's profession. the gathering now encompasses a sizeable interview with him on questions of literature, deconstruction, politics, feminism and historical past, and Derek Attridge presents an introductory essay on deconstruction and the query of literature, with feedback for extra analyzing. those essays learn where and operation of literature in Western tradition, and are hugely unique responses to person literary texts. They spotlight Derrida's curiosity in literature as an important cultural establishment and as a in particular hard kind of writing, with inescapable results for our pondering philosophy, politics and ethics.
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Additional info for Acts of Literature
That can procure a subtle and intense pleasure. It can he produced without literature, "in life," in life without literature, but literature is also "in life" in its way, in "real life," as people calmly say who think they can distinguish between the "real life" and the other one. Pleasure is linked to the game which is played at this limit, to what is suspended at this limit. It is also linked to all the paradoxes of the simulacrum and even of mimesis. " Which is at once identification and disidentification, experience of the double, thought about iterability, etc.
But for that, for this "rendering" 69 AN INTERVIEW WITH JACQUES DERRIDA [rendre], you have to sign in your turn, write something else which responds or corresponds in an equally singular, which is to say irreduc- ible, irreplaceable, "new" way: neither imitation, nor reproduction, nor metalanguage. This countersigning response, this countersignature which is responsible (for itself and for the other), says "yes" to the work, and again "yes, this work was there before me, without me, I testify," even if it begins by calling for the co-respondent countersignature; and even, then, if it turns out to have implied it from the very beginning, so as to presuppose the possibility of its birth, at the moment of giving a name.
At the moment we are in a slightly "crude" and heavy-handed phase of the question. In it can also be conservative in that it is anti-institutional, in that it is polemical argument, there is too much confidence in the assumed "anarchist," and to the extent that a certain kind of anarchism can be sexual identities of the signatories, in the very concept of sexual iden- conservative. Following this logic, if we come back to the question of tity, things are dealt with too generally, as if a text were this or that, what is called "feminist" literature or criticism, we risk finding the same paradoxes: sometimes the texts which are most phallocentric or in a homogeneous way, for this or that, without taking account of what it is in the status or the very structure of a literary work—I would phallogocentric in their themes (in a certain way no text completely rather say in the paradoxes of its economy—which ought to discourage escapes this rubric) can also he, in some cases, the most deconstructive.