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Literature and the Remains of the Death Penalty$
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Peggy Kamuf

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823282302

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823282302.001.0001

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Beginning with Literature

Beginning with Literature

(p.17) 1 Beginning with Literature
Literature and the Remains of the Death Penalty

Peggy Kamuf

Fordham University Press

This chapter reviews Derrida’s engagement with literature in The Death Penalty, Volume I. It explicates the notion of “the right to literature” and its relation to democracy (“No democracy without literature; no literature without democracy,” as Derrida has declared elsewhere). It works through Derrida’s reading of texts by Genet, Hugo, and Blanchot. It also recalls Derrida’s analysis in Given Time of the “absolute secret” of literature and includes a brief reading of Camus’s The Stranger.

Keywords:   Blanchot, Camus, death penalty, Derrida, Genet

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