Canopy of the upturned eye: writing on Derrida’s Crypt

O'Connor, MTS
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The evocation of a spatial sheltering in this title hints at a covering over death. Indeed, a canopy is productive of fertile vegetation for a continued nurturing of living after death. However, this paper aims at a threshold beyond an economy of re-appropriation or return, as in the successful mourning of Derrida after Freud, in order to produce a breakage {bris} and debris that forever complicates notions of before and after. As the conference thematic alludes, a disjunctive moment rests in the after (of Derrida in Freud), which now complicates a temporality of return. Hence, this paper attempts the unconditional and deconstructive return (without reserve and beyond a restricted economy) to Freud’s work on mourning as a radical opening onto spatial interiority and exteriority. Through a close (clôtural) reading of Derrida’s text Fors proximity of textual doubling across psychoanalysis and deconstruction here aims to perform a stylistic body as writings ethical moment. Fors is a text that activates a cryptic encounter with psychoanalytic mourning for an ethically otherwise thinking to notions of fixed (inter)subjective interiority and exteriority. The complication here in encountering the stylistic play of Derrida’s textuality as a going beyond Derrida’s thesis, is to inaugurate Fors as a cryptic body whose secreted openings open onto the question of sexual difference. Whilst, many of Derrida’s texts explicitly deal with the thematic of sexual difference, Fors is not one among them. What then are the implications for doubling Derrida’s reading, whereby the question of death and mourning open more precisely onto an ethics of sexual difference? In his text, Derrida dislocates psychoanalytic successful mourning as introjection (a love for the other in me), through reading incorporation (keeping the other as a foreign body within my own body) as potentially the more ethical strategy for mourning. Derrida seeks to dismantle the “tyranny” of this binary, suggesting another reading whereby incorporation could in fact lead onto a more respectful position maintaining the other’s alterity. What is maintained is a difference and heterogeneity. Whilst Derrida’s ongoing engagements with psychoanalysis occurs across a series of texts, in Fors he approaches directly the literary-mytho-poetic psychoanalysis of Nicolas Abraham and Maria Torok in order to deconstruct the works of mourning and memory, as the narrative of what never happened. Sexual difference is least named here, though for this reason, in its withdrawal, it is most named. This central pivot of the paper, precisely through the workings of the crypt, builds its thetic call on disseminating moments without reserve. From its buried partitions, it constitutes the cipher and pledge that stakes the strategic bets for an otherwise saying of sexual difference.

Freud After Derrida: An International Interdisciplinary Conference, Winnipeg, Canada, 2010-10-06 - 2010-10-09
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