Stanford University Press, 2000 - Literary Criticism - 160 pages
These two lectures by Jacques Derrida, "Foreigner Question" and "Step of Hospitality/No Hospitality," derive from a series of seminars on "hospitality" conducted by Derrida in Paris, January 1996. His seminars, in France and in America, have become something of an institution over the years, the place where he presents the ongoing evolution of his thought in a remarkable combination of thoroughly mapped-out positions, sketches of new material, and exchanges with students and interlocutors.
As has become a pattern in Derrida's recent work, the form of this presentation is a self-conscious enactment of its content. The book consists of two texts on facing pages. "Invitation" by Anne Dufourmantelle appears on the left (an invitation that of course originates in a response), clarifying and inflecting Derrida's "response" on the right. The interaction between them not only enacts the "hospitality" under discussion, but preserves something of the rhythms of teaching.
The volume also characteristically combines careful readings of canonical texts and philosophical topics with attention to the most salient events in the contemporary world, using "hospitality" as a means of rethinking a range of political and ethical situations. "Hospitality" is viewed as a question of what arrives at the borders, in the initial surprise of contact with an other, a stranger, a foreigner. For example, Antigone is revisited in light of the question of impossible mourning; Oedipus at Colonus is read via concerns that also apply to teletechnology; the trial of Socrates is brought into conjunction with the televised funeral of François Mitterrand.
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absolute Algerian Antigone antinomy Apology of Socrates Benveniste blind burial called CHORUS citizens citizenship CompuServe Crito crypt daughters dead death duty dwelling place e-mail eigner Emmanuel Levinas enter ethics Evian agreements exile father fear foreign land French German language give going guage guest hear host hostage human inscribed Internet invites ISMENE Jacques Derrida Kant keep language law of hospitality Levinas linked logic logos madness master meaning mother tongue mourning night Oath Orkos obsession Oedipus at Colonus offered oneself pact paradox parricide Patocka philosophical pitality plural police political possible ques question relationship rhetoric right to hospitality right to lie Samuel Weber secret seminar sense Socrates someone sophist Sophocles space speak speech strange stranger tality Theaetetus Thebes Theseus thing threshold tion tional tomb trans transhumant translation unconditional hospitality weeps words xenia xenos