The instant of their debt: Derrida with Freud and Heidegger in Greece

Kolocotroni, V. (2018) The instant of their debt: Derrida with Freud and Heidegger in Greece. In: Rabaté, J.-M. (ed.) After Derrida: Literature, Theory and Criticism in the 21st Century. Series: After series. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, pp. 21-38. ISBN 9781108444521

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A belated traveler to Greece, Derrida, like Freud and Heidegger before him, writes of the visit in terms of uncanny anticipation, meditating on death, debt and memory. This essay considers the accounts of his stay in Greece, Demeure, Athènes [Athens, Still Remains] (1996), and draws out the motifs through which he stages in his writing modernity’s (and modern philosophy’s) errancy and exemplary debt. Cast in the form of an insistent questioning of the possibility of return, Heidegger’s ruminations on and in Greece (Aufenthalte [Sojourns] (1962)) suggest a constant deferral as well as a deference in the presence of empty temples and still inhabited words. Derrida’s homage to Greece’s ‘luminous memory’ is likewise preoccupied with language and death, and the dwelling on what remains, as ruin and residence, while reflecting on the photographic still as a testimony of mourning and recollective thinking. Derrida catches glimpses of such thinking in the life of Freud, Socrates, Heidegger (and, as this essay argues, also Blanchot), and composes in his text a ‘death sentence’, which resonates with his relationship to language and philosophy’s debt to death and delay, anticipation and memory.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kolocotroni, Dr Vassiliki
Authors: Kolocotroni, V.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Publisher:Cambridge University Press

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