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The Trace of GodDerrida and Religion$
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Edward Baring and Peter E. Gordon

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823262090

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823262090.001.0001

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Poetics of the Broken Tablet

Poetics of the Broken Tablet

(p.59) Poetics of the Broken Tablet
The Trace of God

Sarah Hammerschlag

Fordham University Press

This essay challenges Jacques Rancière’s reading of Derrida’s ethics and politics, which Rancière sees as dependent on that of Emmanuel Levinas and thus theological. It disputes this reading by articulating the difference between the poet and the rabbi in Derrida’s work through considerations of Derrida’s readings of Edmond Jabès and Paul Celan. It shows how Derrida, in his readings of these poets, aligns the rabbi with the poet but sets up the poet as the one who puts the event—whether of circumcision or the date—into circulation. The essay argues for a different distinction between Rancière and Derrida. Both are interested in thinking the enactment of the “as if” in politics, but toward different ends. Rancière wants to enact a public space indifferent to difference, whereas Derrida establishes the literary as a form of the universal that nonetheless tarries with the singular.

Keywords:   Jacques Derrida, Emmanuel Levinas, Jacques Rancière, literary, ethics, politics, singular, universal

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