Syntax Is the Metal Itself. Derrida on the Usure of the Metaphor

  • Mauro SenatoreEmail author
Part of the Contributions To Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 86)


The following pages can be read as a preliminary study on Derrida’s thought of the usure. The point of departure is the reading of Levinas’ treatment of the spatial metaphor (such as “the Most-High” and “absolute exteriority”) that Derrida mobilizes in “Violence and Metaphysics. An Essay on the Thought of Emmanuel Levinas” (1964). What is at stake in this reading, I suggest, is not only the interpretation of Levinas’ metaphysics but also the formulation of another thought of the metaphor (of the metaphoricity of the metaphor) as the originary spatialization and inscription of language (and, as we shall see, of life in general). In tracing the metaphor of the usure across Derrida’s early writings, I aim to shed light on a path of thought that goes from the reading of Levinas’ spatial metaphors to that of Freud’s scene of writing.


Metaphor Space Derrida Levinas Inscription 


  1. Derrida, Jacques. 1974. Of Grammatology. Trans. G.C. Spivak. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Derrida, Jacques. 1978. Writing and Difference. Trans. A. Bass. London: Routledge and Keagan Paul Ltd.Google Scholar
  3. Derrida, Jacques. 1982. Margins of Philosophy. Trans. A. Bass. Brighton: The Harvester Press.Google Scholar
  4. Levinas, Emmanuel. 1969. Totality and Infinity. Trans. A. Lingis. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff Publisher.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de HumanidadesUniversidad Diego PortalesSantiagoChile

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