Jacques Derrida's essay which is discussed in this chapter is a meditation on death and mourning, memory and ghosts, the referent and the other, the proper name and the unique, the look and the image, and their intertwining in the structure of photography. The commentary in this chapter attempts to graft a few remarks onto just one passage of Derrida's essay, a passage that ties together all the motifs in order to elaborate the relation between photography and spectrality. By functioning as a testament or proof for the exigency of the absolute singularity of the other, or “the referent”, photography demonstrates how death and the referent are brought together in the same structure. It is this “conjugation” of death and the referent in “the photographic event” that gives photography its “spectral” structure.
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