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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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Reinventing the Wheel

Reinventing the Wheel

Of Sovereignty, Autobiography, and Deconstruction

(p.83) 4 Reinventing the Wheel
The End of the World and Other Teachable Moments

Michael Naas

Fordham University Press

This chapter looks at the life of Robinson Crusoe and how he made things around him for his convenience and comfort. To Derrida, Robinson's situation brings up questions of autobiography and the world that would result from an analysis of Crusoe's creations or inventions. An autobiography is compared to the figure of a wheel where the self takes a detour but eventually returns to himself in the process of self-discovery. The main theme of Derrida in these terms is the impossibility of returning home, or the point of one's departure, or even the preoccupation of deconstruction. Deconstruction is even considered as the beginning of the reinvention of the wheel, the end of the circle of thinking to start and take on a new journey and new self-identity. He questions the importance of returning, circularity, and homecoming in “Violence and Metaphysics.” In the end, Derrida speaks that in returning, there is always iteration, original difference, and supplementarity because for every one turn of the wheel, there is always added another point of departure where one can start from.

Keywords:   Robinson Crusoe, self-discovery, preoccupation of deconstruction, reinvention of the wheel

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