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Crossover QueriesDwelling with Negatives, Embodying Philosophy's Others$
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Edith Wyschogrod

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780823226061

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823226061.001.0001

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Autochthony and Welcome

Autochthony and Welcome

Discourses of Exile in Derrida and Levinas

(p.423) 27 Autochthony and Welcome
Crossover Queries

Edith Wyschogrod

Fordham University Press

The inquiry into the private and the political, into the meaning of friend and enemy, is not an excursus in the analysis of hospitality but exposes the risks and paradoxes built into the discussions of hospitality in the works of Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida. The personal is shown to remain personal yet is at the same time already demonstrably political; autochthony persists while engaging in its own deterritorialization. As Derrida argues, “Absolute hospitality requires that I risk opening my home to the stranger... to the absolutely unknown, who remains anonymous” so that the other can “have a place in the place that I offer him”. Although the absence of physical boundaries in the virtual spaces of the new communication technologies radically alters biblical accounts of the home, one does not feed the hungry and shelter the destitute from the nowhere of a Web site. Virtual space is infiltrated by an ethical subject who is always already corporeal.

Keywords:   hospitality, Emmanuel Levinas, Jacques Derrida, personal, autochthony, virtual space

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