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Im/possible Voices

by Nadia Setti
18 May 2012 • Comment (0) • Print
Posted: Im-possible Derrida [8] | Article

1. Voices on line: apories téléphoniques
2. The philosophical dream of the embodied phoné
3. Fast writing: beside(s) life

1. Voices on line: apories téléphoniques

What kind of event is the voice coming from the other, addressing the other; which kind of reception is the listening to voice(s), not only to speech? In a kind of scene of beginnings (which is already a repetition of similar scenes – as suggested by a title of a book of Hélène Cixous, Jours de l’an), Jacques Derrida reminds H.C. of their phone calls – coups de telephone[1] - particularly, the last one when H.C. tells him of her last dream of a male ant, le fourmi. In French, the word fourmi is usually feminine. Fourmi is, at the same time, an element of her dream, the word for an insect, and a cryptical sign of sexual difference. It is also a gift she offers him online, through the phone call, a gift (don) he receives, transforms and addresses again through his speech. So this “word”, “fourmi“, has a strange and hybrid status; its “identity” isn’t stable, for, as soon as “ant” appears in the dream between them, as soon it mutes from feminine to masculine, then, the telephone call performs the circulation of words, thoughts, and feelings. We cannot really know or say how and where this word continues to pass among “us”, from one to the other, translated, transformed, read.

At the beginning, this scene seems to concern two people, you and I, he and she; each is producing his/her own speech, tale or dream of sexual difference.[2]During this phone call, we are already in a fictional scene; someone makes us believe that, somewhere, sometime (once upon a time), she called him and told him of the dream about “it”, the “male/masculine” ant.

My first point about this scene is that, even if the telephone call could make us imagine a dual relationship between a woman and a man, something else is going on beyond the terms and limits of a dual or double figuration; this not because of a mutual changing of sex, but, rather, because of the multiple displacement of genders through a cross reading of sexual difference on each side. Derrida introduces the reference to the phone call as the unseen fictional scene where two friends, a woman and a man, speak, in a dialogue where each recognizes the other without looking at him/her, just listening to the other’s voice. In the phone call, there is no visual technology supplying the invisible speakers, only an acoustic one, so that the presence to each other is mostly vocal.[3]Through the indirect contact online, they touch through the vibration of their voices. Thus, this scene is similar to the relation between blind people, speaking, unseen, to the other; no need of sight to get in touch with the other. In the meantime, voices and words may move affects, feelings, sensations, bodily responses; bodies take place and part(s) in a quite particular way.

I have chosen to comment on the aparté (digressions or footnotes) of this essay where, in a way I consider as symptomatic, several voices are recalled as memories recorded and set aside (of course, it is a writing textual strategy). The main reason of this choice is, of course, that voices come back like apparitions, echoes, memories through brackets, in a spectral or unconscious mode.

Aside from his main text, all of a sudden Derrida remembers another voice, an astonishing one, coming from his childhood; first, the voice of God, the father, “la voix de dieu le père”, then, behind this bearded father, it appears a feminine figure: Scheckina. Just like Derrida, we note the change of gender, but what is   more interesting is to note the way this arrival of the voice happens in Derrida’s writing, the way “he” lets his mind open to the coming back of “her” voice, which is qualified as a vocal apparition.

The main question is on the hospitality “I” (J.D.) gives to a voice which does not belong to God or any Goddess, but which results from a kind of remembrance connected to what he calls a ‘daily prayer’. But what is a prayer? A silent telephone call, addressed to oneself, to the Other, to life or death. It is a way of thinking, “praying from morning to evening and day and night to convince him of my goodness [...]“[4]. Coming from the inside, the voice has no sonorous effects, even if it is still a voice, calling through me, in a kind of address that is particularly touching and moving:[5]

le tutoiement (intimate form of address) that is addressed to him in me is also addressed to her in me; I know it is to a sort of scheckina I address myself through the old bearded man, as soon as he presents himself to my tutoiement; it is as a woman that this grandfather himself introduces to me; through him, a woman comes to me before me, filling the space in which my atheism itself can move, when I speak to her while he presents [...]“[6]

This prayer, as we understand, is not an ordinary prayer in a sacred space, but a daily speech act, a daily address, a silent wish to be forgiven (is a matter of forgiveness, pardon, the impossible pardon for existing, being alive). This voice does not belong to anyone, but transmutes from the father to a woman’s voice, and, finally, has no other embodiment than his body, which offers hospitality to voices to take place.

Can we compare the sounding apparition of the signifier/word/ant to this voice with/out body? Like Echo without a visible body, a spectral voice, fanthomatique, immaterial, im-possible?

We could not say that this “scene” is, at first, a dialogue, but, presumably, that it is a poem, a song, an imploration, a silent praise. Nonetheless, there is still the address to another “you”, who is, at the same time, coming through “me”; the prayer creates this relation among words and sentences, between “I” and “you”: le tutoiement. The address (to talk to somebody as “you”) implies an exit out of me, offering a chez moi to other(s), a renunciation to the private, intimate propriety of the self, the acceptance of sharing with somebody. The silent demand of forgiveness is the opening to/of im-possible forgiveness, the edge of a demand whose satisfaction depends on nobody, on the Other (absolute?). We do not know, we can never know which kind of voices will arrive.   Sexual difference voice(s) plays as traces, records, silences or sounds, in-out of me. In this intimate form of address (tutoiement), there is no touching, no visible touch, nothing that proves a relation.

2. The philosophical dream of the embodied phoné

In A più voci. Filosofia dell’espressione vocale, the Italian philosopher Adriana Cavarero dialogues with some of the works by Derrida; especially, La voix et le phenomène (about Husserl), La pharmacie de Platon, De la grammatologie, L’aphorisme à contre-temps (about Romeo and Juliet). In her book, she gives a short but new analysis of Derrida’s deconstruction of the phonocentric logos: considering Derrida’s major themes, she wonders why, beyond the necessary and strong deconstruction of metaphysics, mostly of Logos phonocentrism, Derrida seems to neglect some aspects of presence and phonè, especially the incarnated, embodied voice.

She aims at a vocal ontology of uniqueness, set against a long philosophical tradition where conscience speaks silently to oneself. Referring mainly to Hannah Arendt’s concept of plural uniqueness and political thought, Cavarero conceives language as a polylogue of voices, where each is unique and, at the same time, in relation to the other. On one side, she agrees with the privilege accorded by Derrida to writing against the tradition of metaphysics of speech: “… è l’interesse per la scrittura come sfera della traccia, architraccia, différance, a orientare verso la voce l’analisi derridiana”[7]; on the other side, she moves criticism to the fact that the philosopher seems to consider the voice only as “belonging to the field of différance”.[8]

If writing and deconstruction trouble the assignment of presence to speech (la parole) and of death to writing (écriture), still, Cavarero continues, denying the living, bodily, and material voice (which is what, in her opinion, Derrida accomplishes) involves a surprising return to metaphysics; on the contrary, being the living voice unique, it has nothing to do with phonocentrisme. Cavarero expresses regret for what she considers as a lost chance for Derrida to let the voice open up another horizon, out of the metaphysical logos:

“Si aprirebbe così per la voce [...] un orizzonte di relazione piuttosto che di autoaffezione, di polifonia piuttosto che di monologia. Si aprirebbe però anche un varco dove la voce si fa sentire come vibrazione di una gola di carne che annuncia l’unicità di chi la emette invocandone un’altra nella risonanza.”[9]

My next exemple concerns an interpretation of ‘the balcony scene’ of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Along with Derrida, this tragedy is the example of contretemps, the impossible synchronisation that is fatal to lovers: one dies in seeing the other dead (while he/she is still living). Here, fatality comes out of family conflict: separated by their names, Romeo and Juliet could live and love each other. It is exactly what Juliet asks the night, ignoring that Romeo, hidden in the dark, is listening to her. She wishes she could separate Romeo’s body from his name; even if Romeo is not called Romeo any more, she still loves him. For Cavarero, without names, nonetheless there are voices. Unfortunately, what Juliet is asking is impossible, as Derrida affirms: Romeo is his name, and by losing it, he is lost.[10]

The crucial point, even if left unremarked by Derrida, is that this ontological status or, if you want, the singularity of the human being loved by Juliet, in the ‘balcony scene’, is manifested as voice. In recognising Romeo’s voice, the girl recognizes that unicity of the beloved which is separable from the proper name [...] that is vocally communicated to her. The essential link between voice and unicity, underlined theatrically by a nocturnal dark that potentiates the exclusive role of the acoustic sphere, comes on stage.[11]

Once more, as Cavarero further remarks, Derrida does not take care of the possibility to retrieve phoné from the metaphysical assignation, by giving it another possibility of thinking life, presence, and body. We may suggest that the mechanism of contretemps consists exactly in ignoring the other scene, the scene of the voice. Still, what is ignored it is (that is, the contretemps effect) saved. Name identifies one’s body, gender and life, while depriving of other identities, for example, those delivered through the voice. Certainly the main question is not identity, but the agency of names: names separate and condemn to death – even if the young lovers both try to “doff” names, and fight on the line of ‘life’.

It is under the title of ‘life’ that Derrida gives a more ample reading of Cixous’ works, on the occasion of the first decade at Cerisy-la-Salle: H.C. pour la vie c’est à dire.[12]First, let me go back to the end of Fourmis, where, in the footnote n.22, Derrida introduces, with a long quote, a “scène polyloguée” of all the feminine voices who have passed through him:

[...] thinking of the feminine voices that have passed through me [...] I wonder today if it would be possible for me to reappropriate what I read on a certain page of Jours de l’an (pp. 162-3). I wonder in truth if I could even read it if I did not already begin to reappropriate it in silence, rather to countersign, the reader thus usurping in advance the place of “the author”. I read:

“I need to speak of these women in me who have entered , they have struck me, they have hurt me, in me they have wakened the dead, they have cleared paths, they have brought me wars, gardens, children, foreign families, graveless mournings and I’ve tasted the worlds in their tongues.

They have lived their lives in me. They have written. They have died. They continue unceasingly to live, unceasingly to die, and unceasingly to write. (Cixous, 1998: 107)”[13]

Differently from the first “telephone call”, the relation here is engaged through and with the text, by an act of writing reading, of countersigning. Ir is, in my opinion, the main interest of this footnote: beyond the dialogical scene of two speakers on the telephone, Derrida calls back an hybrid plurality of voices belonging to different spaces, periods, and sexes. This kind of polylogical text is an issue of the reading commitment. There is no transposition of vocal to writing, but a spectrum of voices. On this point we may agree with Cavarero: it’s rather difficult or even impossible to establish which one among them has the status of the vocal, embodied one.

Which is the meaning of this act of countersignature (contresigner): signing as the author, as the woman who is the author, as all the women, voices, who have inhabited this author (in truth H.C.)?

We know the question of the signature is one of the main themes and terms of Derrida’s thinking; here, however, it is particularly meaningful because of the multiplicity engaged through the signature, not a duality but a cloister of differences. Moreover, one can wonder about the hospitality of one another, who guests whom, which kind of exchange is going on through the writing reading process, which is an act of “reappropriation in silence”. (he) guests the others voices being silent.

This seems to contradict the deconstruction of property, possession, naming identity as propriation; it is the reason why I am interested in this footnote: it is an aspect of reading as hospitality which cannot be dismissed or eluded, where the possibility to sign these lines as (another) author, is, at the same time, the impossible realisation of a desire, and the wish to pass to the other side just to receive, to be inhabited, by all the feminine voices.

There is still another remark we could make on these scenes: Juliet, as the man secretly praying his intimate other, expresses, enounces a wish: the wish to be forgiven, the wish Romeo may not be his name. Derrida defines this mood of enunciation as puissance, the puissance of Cixous’s text, by developing the subjunctive puisse. The verb is of power, but the terms are those of possibility, desire, and wish (see HC pour la vie c’est à dire).

Of course, we could say that this does not concern the (embodied) voice, but a certain kind of enunciation. Moreover, this sentence is addressed to oneself, to the other who is absent, to an apparition outside/inside the subject. It is not what Cavarero means by dirsi, ‘to say to each other’. Calls as well as questions do not receive an immediate answer (as in the dialogue figured out by Cavarero); answers may come later, they may never come, or they can come in an expected form or way. This configuration of waiting is particularly meaningful in poetry and writing.

Once again, we should consider that we are dealing with texts, poems, and narrations: writing. That is to say that the writing strategy (differance) affects the ways (voies) of reception, interexchange, dialogue and polylogue. Writing as a process and a tekné, displaces the perfect correspondence in space and in time between the spoken speech and its transcription. Critics of Cixous’ works have underlined the importance of the bodily voice, the singing, and the vocal and poetical items; actually, from the beginning (the essays of the 70ies), there is an indirect reference to Derrida’s thought on the voice and writing, with an original interpretation of sexual difference.

Being (thinking) on my/her/his side is not exactly analogue of an exchange where the speech act, the vocal expression of each, is involved. The horizon of Cavarero is philosophical and political along with Arendt’s thought; Derrida seems to take poetics, philosophy and politics, by hand, especially when he reads Cixous’ texts.

In one case, the speech act is performed by two or more speakers, present to each other. In poetical writing, the address is to the im-possible, impredictable other(s), who is, at the same time, present (this or that reader, in this moment) and non-present in time and space. It is the reason why it is a spectral voice, coming from elsewhere, belonging to indeterminate people, bodies, related to phantasms, to dreams, to desire. These aspects are generally excluded from political space and thought, except in the political practices that take language, the unconscious and the symbolic, into consideration.

In the phone call, the voice is at the same time coming from living bodies, even if it could be recorded, reproduced, modified, detached from this person and this body, the vocal spectrum of this present body. These considerations point at a certain possibility of a naturalisation of the voice, presence, and the body. Derrida moves on different levels of address: often to the text, to Cixous’ writing, to the author, but, sometimes, to the person there, in this room, you, she; it is a way to practice, differance, difference. Who can answer? In which voice, name, or title? Reality and fiction are mixed up. It is why it is so difficult to discuss Cavarero’s remarks, especially when, on her side, she seems to understate all textual and fictional dimensions (Romeo and Juliet).

I will try to develop a controversial item concerning the corporeal and, at the same time, im-material status of the voice(s). This materialisation takes place in the exchange of vocal emissions, sentences, words, speeches, between people, bodies, others.

3. Fast writing: beside(s) life

Voice, vocal, comes from the Latin vocare, to call. Now my question is what kind of act of speech is to call when it is, at the same time, the expression of a wish, of a desire, of a demand to the Other, for the other or others. It is one of the moods of the verb (as can, will, have to) usually used with the subjunctive form; it is also introduced by the preposition followed by the exclamation mark O! In any way, the optative mood is used, at the same time, for possibility, desire and invocation in poetry, that is, in the form of a text where the absent other (you) is addressed.

Does this poetical invocation give voice to the body, or is it just an opening to the desire and the possibility of embodiment, of presence beyond absence, of future time?

An im-possibility may be a speech act,which, in my opinion, opens more than everything else the possibility of the arrival,   an answer to a call (vocation).

For Adriana Cavarero, in her A più voci, vocality is connected with the relation and the address in-between: a vocal dialogue, beginning with the exchange between the baby and the person who cares for him or her. Language, words and the meaning structure, are linked to gestures, touches, vocal cries; the sign is not referring to an objet as “meaning”: “Materialized by the physicity of the vocal exchange, presence is here only the relation act.”[14]

We may say that this exchange, this call/address with/out names, organized by repetition, rhythm, emotion (affect), is not only the distinctive relationship between the baby and the maternal body, but a consistent mood of poetical expression. As Cavarero suggests, many times in their essays or their fiction, Cixous and Kristeva have developed this rhythmical, musical, textual vocal corps à corps.

When, in a short text published in 1988 in the Italian revue Poesia, Che cos’è la poesia (that, in a certain way, is a singular echo of “What is politics?” by Hannah Arendt, or “What is thinking” by Heidegger), in a surprising way, Derrida introduces a little animal, the hedgehog (istrice, in Italian, hérisson in French), as a possible metaphor of poetry. As we know, this little animal has the custom to cross the road, putting himself in danger of being run over by cars. Exactly like the living being exposed to death. The poem as an address, a questio open to the world, to the Other without limits, specification, gender, is in danger, at risk. In this text, Derrida does not insist upon the vocal matter of poetry, rather on the double form close/open of the animal poem, in the double injunction to be next to oneself in order to get out of oneself (being the expression du secret partagé in this aporistic form) – être auprès de soi/hors de soi.

The risk is just to venture towards “la langue de l’autre en vue d’une traduction impossible ou refusée, nécessaire mais désirée comme une mort”[15].In no way poetry is associated to vocal expression than in learning by heart (apprendre par coeur), the experience, more than an expression, of the birth of the rhythm, capable to destroy knowledge, burn libraries, beyond name(s) or subjects: “l’unicité du poème est à cette condition” (the uniqueness of the poem is under this condition). The poem is absolute, jeté, far from the subject, the body “au-delà du corps, du sexe, de la bouche et des yeux, il efface les bords, il échappe aux mains, tu l’entends à peine, mais il nous apprend le coeur”.[16]To call is to pronounce an act of speech and, at the same time, to expose oneself to (absolute) otherness.

In the essays concerning Cixous, Derrida develops a new approach on behalf of life, beside life vocality (homophonie, intranslation) and writing. I am interested and partly in agreement with Cavarero’s question in that she enlightens aspects of Derrida’s thought in an unusual way; it is not a question of limits, because the frontier is a limitless transitory zone, a displacement movement de son/mon côté, for life has no sides. That is why, in my opinion, we should read with particular attention, all the conferences and the articles pronounced or published, from Lectures de la difference sexuelle onward.

Il me semble du premier abord que pour elle, je dis bien pour elle, il n’y ait qu’un seul côté et non pas deux, et ce côté est celui de la vie. [...] C’est pourquoi moi, et c’est sans doute plus qu’une différence, un grand différend entre nous, moi, qui me sens toujours tourné du côté de la mort, je ne suis pas de son côté, alors qu’elle voudrait tout tourner et faire venir du côté de la vie.[17]

The author of James Joyce ou l’art du remplacement, as Derrida remarks, is an artist of substitution: she displaces, quickly, the subject, identity, and the signifier. We easily recognize one of the points of deconstruction performing displacement.

In this perspective, how could the uniqueness of the voice stand? We should think it as événement (event) the impossible and yet possible, once (une fois) but recurrent, multiplied as a birthday, an anniversary. The unique event becomes all the series of days recalling this one – as the title of Cixous’s book suggests and largely develops, Jours de l’an, First days of the year.

One is immediately many others, similar yet different, because of life going on, changeable, moving. This fast writing – écrire vite, l’écrire-vie -[18]is the impossible translation (quick translating) of H.C pour la vie, that is (homophonie), H c’est pour la vie; at the same time, H.C. (the initials of Hélène Cixous) is for life, and then, c’est à dire (that means), which is an invitation to continue, to explain, to say and to write further. Homophony (the same sound for a different meaning) is a recurring characteristic of Cixous’s writing, and an example of this quick taking place of two or more sound meanings. It is a challenge to time, a fight against time, à contretemps, trying to double time.

In Cixous’ writing, this is in relation with mourning, loss, and death. How to write a living voice, body, being? That’s one of the questions of this woman writer and of Derrida reading her: life is changing, mutation, difference, muting into other (not necessarily identities). Quick writing keeps on time and in time with change, in constant displacement (even an imperceptible one) in terms of language work (homophonie, homonimie) and of body, emotions, etc. The art of taking place is a complex modulation of ear, voice, vision, and writing. The displacement of meaning takes place when writing differs: when what we read or see, suggests another scene, another vision, in relation to what we hear. Against the presumption of writing as fixing oral memory, Cixous’ quick writing (stenographie) summons up a sort of synchronic speech. Certainly, it is not the co-presence of bodily voices speaking in presence, but another strategy to get close to the living event ‘together’: to be with (être avec).

Voices are im-possible, in the perspective of infinite, limitless possibilities, to come, à venir. Derrida constantly points at that side, her side life’s side, beside her, different from his side (mon côté).

So if Caravero is right in remarking that Derrida has lost a chance in not retaining the single voice as a voice different from the phonocentric one, yet, this lost chance is a promised voice, that’s to say, again taking place in a mobile indetermination: the trembling vibration of un-caught presence, as frail life in/between our hands.

“En s’engageant dans les choix impossibles, la haute voix “recordée” donne à lire une réserve de l’écriture, ses pulsions tonales et phoniques, les ondes (ni le cri ni la parole) qui se nouent ou dénouent dans l’unique vocifération, la singulière portée d’une autre voix. Celle-ci, à filtrer les possibles, se laisse alors passer, elle est d’avance passée, mémoire doublement présente ou présence dédoublée.”[19]


1. Téléphonie as télégraphie and télépathie are termes and concepts Derrida frequently refers to, not only in relation to texts by Cixous or others writers; however, rarely, as in this occasion, the context is a “real”one, and the other person is present in the same space: these are not only biographical details, but elements we must keep in mind to understand the development of his thought. [↑]

2.  Hélène Cixous titles her text Contes de la différence sexuelle, in Lectures de la différence sexuelle, Mara Negròn ed, Des femmes, 1994. In her text, which precedes Derrida’s “Fourmis” (Ants), Cixous topics is about bodies, sexual differences, writing (she gives various examples of texts written by women) and, at the same time, she develops an analysis focused on signifiers of Derrida’s Circonfession. In any way, the more relevant point is the body, le corps, and the exchange between bodies, not only in sexual or love relations, but, in quite a vast range of ways, all referring to feelings, senses, and different ways to be touched: she displaces, in a very interesting and meanigful way, the sex organ from the genitals (masculine and feminine) to the heart. Heart she writes, is the sublime sex commun to both “sexes”: “S’il y a un organe, c’est l’organe deviné, senti qui fait fonction de sexe, qui est le coeur. Mais, comme je l’ai dit ailleurs, le coeur est l’organe de jouissance le plus mystérieux, il est le sexe sublime commun aux deux “sexes”", p. 51.   This doesn’t put aside the fact or the presumption that there is “my sex” or “your sex”, but, among different sexes (whose definitions may be variable), there is this “organ” which is “commun”. The question is, how? The heart feels, beats, shares emotions with others; I’d suggest the voice is as well unique and shared; perhaps, we could think it as the inexchangeable part Cixous imagines out of this commun experience of jouissance: what is exchanged and what can’t be throughly be exchanged. Is it another word for difference. This part out of the exchange, it is just promised. This conclusion is, in fact, an opening, a question to the reader or to someone who is going to answer, how? From what kind of experience, body, gender, and textual jouissance? Of course, this is the main interest of this (in)credible question. [↑]

3. In a quite interesting way, when Cixous remembers their first encounter, she underlines his voice, he speaks but she doesn’t see him:” Là-dessus il m’arrive, Jacques Derrida. Rien d’autre ne m’arrive. Sauf cette parole dans mon désert. Cette “parole” dis-je” C’est-à-dire cette parole donnée et donnante, parledonnante, ce don qu’il a d’être toujours en écriture. L’écriture qui parle.” (There he comes to me, Jacques Derrida. Nothing else happens/comes to me. Except this speech in my desert. This “speech” I say. That is this given giving word, speechgifting, this gift of him to be always in writing. Writing which speaks). Hélène Cixous, “le bouc lié”, in Rue Decartes 48, Salut à Jacques Derrida, PUF, p.17.  [↑]

4.  Jacques Derrida, “Ants”, The Oxford Literary ReviewReading Cixous Writing, ed by Martin McQuillan., vol. 24, 2002, p. 28.  [↑]

5.  One of the most mysterious things about the voice is, of course, the way it touches us; music touches, moves the body; furthermore, especially in dramas where the plot is a narration, the opera or lyrical voice is accompanied, supported by words. Anyway, it awakes affects, deep feelings, intimate memories. [↑]

6.  Jacques Derrida, “Ants”, cit. p. 28. [↑]

7.  Ibid. p. 247. [↑]

8.  Adriana Cavarero, A più voci, Filosofia dell’espressione vocale, Milano, Feltrinelli, 2003 op.cit. p. 247. [↑]

9.  Ibid. 255. [↑]

10.  Being one of the most known of Shakespeare tragedies, it can be useful to quote some verses of this scene, I want just to underline how both the caracters refer to the other with/out his/her name: “Romeo She speaks, yet she says nothing : what of that [...] Juliet Ay me ! Romeo She speaks! O! speak again bright angel; Juliet O Romeo, Romeo ! Wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father, and refuse thy name; [....] Romeo Shall I hear more, or shall I speak to this? Juliet ‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy; Thou art thyself, though not a Montague, What’s a Montague ? It is nor hand, nor foot, nor arm, nor face, nor any other part belonging to a man. O! Be some other name: what’s in a name?” (Act II, sc. 2) Both reading (of Cavarero and Derrida, are possible: certainly in this dialogue there is a real enjeu between the living voices and bodies and the names as Juliet question asks: what’s in a name ? Nothing of what she mostly love : the human and male body of Romeo. But nontheless the name is never very far, it comes back and stays near them, as a impossiblle limit of menace and death.  [↑]

11. Ibid., p. 257. [↑]

12. The ten-days congress, organized by Mireille Calle-Gruber, took place in 1998, June 22-30. See Hélène Cixous: Croisées d’une oeuvre, Galilée, 2000. [↑]

13. Ibid., p. 42. [↑]

14. ”Materalizzata dalla fisicità dello scambio vocalico, la presenza è qui semplicemente l’atto della relazione. Si tratta, spesso, di una relazione che comporta un “faccia a faccia”, una contiguità del volto, del tatto, dell’odore.” Adriana Cavarero, A più voci. Filosofia dell’espressione vocale, Milano, Feltrinelli, 2003, p. 186, (m.t.). [↑]

15. Jacques Derrida, Che cos’è la poesia, in Points de suspension, Paris, Galilée, 1992, p. 304. [↑]

16. Ibid., p. 308. [↑]

17. Jacques Derrida, H.C. pour la vie, c’est à dire ... cit., p. 40.  [↑]

18. All homonymies are intraduisibles, not translateble, as in this case, in the word vite the word vie that one can hear. See pp. 62-63. [↑]

19. Derrida, Jacques, Feu la cendre, (Prologue), Paris, Des femmes, 1987, p. 10. [↑]

professor of women and gender studies, comparative literature, at Université Paris 8. director of the Master Genre, pensées des différences, rapports de sexe. Publications about gender, sexual difference, writing and literature, post-colonial literature, francophone women writers, reading and writing and genre, post-modern thought; Passions Lectrices, Indigo, 2010.
All posts by: Nadia Setti | Email | Website

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