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Putting Community under Erasure: The Dialogue between Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Nancy on the Plurality of Singularities

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • In a note at the end of the essay 'The inoperative community,' Jean-Luc Nancy describes the writing of our being-in-common, or of our being-with, as a community of writing: 'inserted, alternated, shared, divided texts, as all texts are, offering that which does not belong to anyone, but which comes back to all: the community of writing, the writing of the community' (1990: 104).1 In this essay, I wish to focus on the community of thinking between Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Nancy. The relationship between those two thinkers is far from unambiguous: if they can be said to be thinking together, it certainly does not simply mean that they think the same thing or that they think it in the same way. To explicate this relationship in all its complexity, I will proceed in four steps. First, I want to show how, despite all the differences in strategy, we can find a certain commonality of project between Derrida and Nancy, namely the need to put community under erasure. Second, I want to focus on some of the different ways in which they carry out that project, namely by a deconstruction of fraternity or by an interruption of myth. In the third part, which represents the bulk of this essay, I want to show how the differences in strategy originate from different interpretations of the current philosophical and political context on the part of the two thinkers. I also want to show how this leads both of them to develop radically different concepts of singularities and of the plurality of such singularities. Lastly, I want to underline the link between both thinkers' concepts of community and the political.

  • Date created
    2006
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3P55DX4P
  • License
    © 2006 Marie-Eve Morin et al. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Morin, M.-E. (2006). Putting Community under Erasure: The Dialogue between Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Nancy on the Plurality of Singularities. Culture Machine, 8, 37-45. http://www.culturemachine.net/index.php/cm/article/viewArticle/37/45
  • Link to related item
    http://www.culturemachine.net/index.php/cm/article/viewArticle/37/45