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The End of the World and Other Teachable MomentsJacques Derrida's Final Seminar$
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Michael Naas

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823263288

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823263288.001.0001

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(p.167) Conclusion: Désormais
The End of the World and Other Teachable Moments

Michael Naas

Fordham University Press

This Conclusion discusses the sorts of signatures adapted by Derrida. It may have come from French to German, from the first person pronoun to a proper noun, to other terms in a mixture of language and meaning. Such is the chimera of an identity that is supposed to be inscribed in the world but then losses itself again. Derrida asks how one can impose names; and the answer is found in a letter addressed to a Japanese friend. Derrida cites an array of words and terms and says the list can never be closed. By using the other, signing with the language of the others and some perceived erudition, Derrida seems to be protecting himself against the anxiety of a certain Walten or in his own interpretation, a signature and a kind of seal. Much meaning and speculation is also given to a phrase found in one of Derrida's folder. Translated from French, it reads “my fear of death, henceforth his or her suffering” and how one word in the original is circled. Is this a strange prayer? The phrase is examined in the context of Derrida's view, or new kind of view, of death. It is possible that he means the other who may survive him, survive his sovereignty, and have sovereignty over the future of his remains. He saw everything—human other or the animal, vegetal, or elemental—as given or given over, in the end, to one's seal or signature.

Keywords:   Walten, fear of death, vegetal, elemental

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