Derrida, Rushdie and the Ethics of Mortality
Jacques Derrida’s The Gift of Death offers both a distinctive moment in the genealogy of his thought on responsibility, and a potential groundwork for a postmodern ethics of mortality. The exact nature of the allegiance between Derrida and postmodernism has always been a hazy connection; one which tends to be resolved in an acceptance of their de facto relationship within contemporary theoretical discourse. I shall claim that a more definite link can be made between Derrida and postmodern fiction in the ethical preoccupation with mortality. This focus, however, manifests some distinct problems for the plurality and play central to the postmodern theoretical canon. For postmodern writing and Derridean deconstruction lead us not to the recognition of irreducible alterity or unending difference, but instead produce a distinctly metaphysical and rather questionable attempt to generate an ethics on the basis of our own inevitable death.
KeywordsEthical Demand Inevitable Death Ethical Strategy Distinctive Moment Possessive Relation
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