In his translator’s introduction to Heidegger’s two-volume publication, Nietzsche, David Farrell Krell recounts that on its original German publication, the spine of the book simply had the two names Nietzsche/Heidegger, in the same font and type size. A perplexed reader may have wondered whether this was indeed a book about or by Heidegger. And for the great philosopher of distance and the distanz of distance, of distancing and de-distancing that we read in Being and Time, “confrontation” with Nietzsche enters a complex realm of relations to the self of one’s self. Indeed, for Heidegger, it was not Nietzsche thinking and writing but Being itself revealing itself thought the thinker.
This theme or question of distance for both Nietzsche and Heidegger is foregrounded in the slim volume by Jacques Derrida, Spurs: The Styles of Nietzsche. In bringing Heidegger and Neitzsche into proximity precisely on the question of distance and proximity, Derrida aims to leverage for Heideggerian “appropriation” an ontology of sexual difference via Nietzsche’s ‘Woman’. Is Nietzsche appropriated here for Heidegger? The complication, or complicity in Derrida’s text lies in his attempt to read Heidegger or at the very least Heidegger’s Nietzsche (and Heidegger’s Nietzsche which would not quite amount to the same thing) as a question of styles, dissimulations or plays.
This paper aims to trace Derrida’s complex weave of “giving” and “giving for”, of giving and taking, that is given as style’s ‘proper’ name, which for Derrida is Heidegger’s proper ‘Woman.’