Continental Philosophy Review

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 1–19 | Cite as

The traumatic origins of representation

  • Peter PoianaEmail author


The debate regarding representation is haunted by the fact that it takes place within a context of general suspicion whereby everything, it is claimed, is always representation. Such is the hurdle that Foucault identifies and Derrida attempts to elucidate in his debate with Heidegger, in which he takes issue with Heidegger’s critique of the “age of representation.” Derrida’s deconstruction of Heidegger’s account of the history of representation leads to a reconstruction that privileges the motifs of dissemination, of envoi (sending or dispatching). In art too, Derrida confronts Heidegger, this time with the aim of re-thinking the relationship between the work and what lies outside and beyond it. By framing the Derrida/Heidegger debate within a consideration of the Lascaux cave drawings, and by examining the positions of Girard, Bataille and Blanchot in relation to the question of the origins of art, it will be possible to re-draw the boundaries of representation insofar as they lie at the intersection between philosophy and art.


Derrida Heidegger Art Uncanny Trauma Age of representation Lascaux drawings Envoi 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Humanities (French Studies)The University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

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