Derrida and Hospitality: Theory and Practice by Judith Still

By Judith Still

Winner of the R. H. Gapper e-book Prize 2011. Judith nonetheless units Derrida's paintings in a sequence of contexts together with the socio-political background of France, particularly with regards to Algeria, and his dating to different writers, most significantly Hélène Cixous, Luce Irigaray and Emmanuel Levinas - key thinkers of hospitality. nonetheless additionally follows the thread of sexual distinction in Derrida's writing for you to make clear his exploration of the advanced and mild, unusual but everyday, political and moral dilemmas of ways to be these very unlikely issues, a great host and a superb guest.Hospitality is seriously very important in Derrida's writings, and his insights during this were influential throughout a number of disciplines from geography, politics and sociology to literary stories and philosophy. It features as a fashion of either puzzling over relatives among contributors, and analysing the group or state's usually inhospitable reception of outsiders, corresponding to refugees or migrants.

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Extra info for Derrida and Hospitality: Theory and Practice

Example text

France can and does (like other nations) draw on many traditions to inform its deployment of the language of hospitality. I am using the term ‘tradition’ as a ‘portmanteau’ to cover historical reality, cultural memory, myth and so on. Examples of diverse traditions important for hospitality include tales of the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and the Hebrews as narrated in the Bible, distant ethnographic reports and local rural practices (including notably Corsica). Any of these will of course be understood and experienced differently by different sections of the community.

Foreigners have to be policed so that the State can turn out ‘those who betray the hospitable nation that protects them’ (cited in Wahnich, L’Impossible Citoyen, 31). Even long-term residents have to apply for a certificat d’hospitalité (though the plan to make them wear tricolor armbands bearing the legend hospitalité was dropped) and give proof of loyalty. This required the testimony of a native French person who thus acquired a degree of power over the ‘guest’. These two brief vignettes show the language of hospitality deployed for both hospitable and what might seem quite inhospitable purposes – both to welcome the foreigner in and to protect the purity of the state from undesirable foreigners.

Finally Chapter 7 attempts to bring together ‘the rest’, the questions that remain. 59 Until recently it would have been very difficult and dangerous for them to return to visit what they perceive as their homeland. Now an association, FranceMaghreb, has been set up to rehabilitate Christian cemeteries and also organises these tours to ‘retrouver vos racines’ (find your roots). ”, leur dit-on à la Grand Poste, à Bab El-Oued, à la Casbah ou ailleurs’). We might note that the set phrase of hospitality: ‘vous êtes chez vous’, which literally translates as ‘this is your home’ (and which I have allowed to slip into an equivalent cliché: ‘make yourself at home’), has a particular resonance in this context.

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