The Painter of Postmodern Life

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The essay examines Derrida's hybrid avowal as a pre-political affective gesture, whose particular philosophical expression resembles a lyrical abstract. Its origin is thus neither literary nor philosophical, but rather resembles a painterly anti-mimetic gesture, echoing both Blanchot's notion of ‘the book to come’ and Michel Henri's ideas of abstract painting and of a pathetic community. The affective or pathetic dimension of the avowal is traced via Derrida's self portrait as a child who performs the partition of “a letter to the father” (following Kierkegaard and Kafka), implementing thereby a plot of betrayal and forgiveness that engages him in the question of de-socialization and parasitism implied in socialization and inheritance. Within this frame, the conditions of ‘living together’ are defined in melancholic terms of absence.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLiving Together
Subtitle of host publicationJacques Derrida's Communities of Violence and Peace
EditorsElisabeth Weber
PublisherFordham University Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)0823249921, 9780823249923
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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