Saturday, February 03, 2007

derrida and other books

The book, the look, the booked look, and when we're done with it, is it done with us/?

(1) ACTS OF RELIGION, Jacques Derrida

(2) CAN WE DO THAT? Outrageous Publicity Stunts That Work, Peter Shankman

(3) THE USER IS ALWAYS RIGHT A Practical Guide to Creating and Using Personas for the Web, Steve Mulder

(4) WIKINOMICS, Don Tapscott

(5) SMALL IS THE NEW BIG, Seth Godin


(7) DERRIDA'S BIBLE, Yvonne Sherwood

The sign can then, in metaphysics, become an object - the object of a theory. That is it can be considered, regarded on the basis of what is given to be seen in intuition, viz. the present being. The theory of signs arises from present being, but also, and thereby, in view of the present being, in view of presence.

The 'in view' designates the theoretical pre-eminence of the gaze, as well as the authority of the final aim, the telos of reappropriation of full presence, the ordination of the theory of signs to the light of parousia.

The theory of signs, already inasmuch as it is a theory, though it be given out to be scientific or positive, is, from this point of view, metaphysical in essence; it is historically metaphysical inasmuch as the concept, and consequently the whole theory, of signs remains commanded by an archaeology, an eschatology and a teleology ordained to presence, or to presentation of present being.

It could be shown that this very general necessity governs metaphysics in its essence and in its totality - which is one with its history, and, I would even go so far as to say: with history as such.


It is a question of ghost and haunting, to be sure, but what else? The German idiom seems to name the ghostly return but it names it in a verbal form.

The latter does not say that there is some revenant, spectre, or ghost; it does not say that there is some apparition, der Spuk, nor even that it appears, but that “it ghosts,” “it apparitions.” It is a matter [Il s'agit], in the neutrality of this altogether impersonal verbal form, of something or someone, neither someone nor something, of a “one” that does not act.

It is a matter rather of the passive movement of an apprehension, of an apprehensive movement ready to welcome, but where?

In the head?

What is the head before this apprehension that it cannot even contain?

And what if the head, which is neither the subject, nor consciousness, nor the ego, nor the brain, were defined first of all by the possibility of such an experience, and by the very thing that it can neither contain, nor delimit, by the indefiniteness of the “es spukt"?

To welcome, we were saying then, but even while apprehending, with anxiety and the desire to exclude the stranger, to invite the stranger without accepting him or her, domestic hospitality that welcomes without welcoming the stranger, but a stranger who is a] ready found within (das Heimliche-Unheimliche), more intimate with one than one is oneself, the absolute proximity of a stranger whose power is singular and anonymous (es spukt), an unnameable and neutral power, that is, undecidable, neither active nor passive, an an — identity that, without doing anything, invisibly occupies places belonging finally neither to us nor to it.

-- Jacques Derrida, SPECTRES OF MARX

click here: Writing in Reserve: Derrida Online

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