Deconstruction and the African Trace

  • Christopher Wise


Although deconstructive concepts of the word are homologous with Egypto-African ones, Derrida’s critique of Western philosophy excludes the later in favor of Abrahamic ones, especially Jewish articulations of the trace as ruah (holy breath) and milah (the Abrahamic name that is cut into flesh). Derrida’s suggestion that we may not know what messianicity is without the revealed Abrahamic religions is not then a matter of simple vacillation on his part: It serves identifiable political goals that further the interests of members of a particular ethnic group, but undermine those of many other African and Middle Eastern peoples. Derrida ignores the fact that the deconstructive concept of the word as a “dangerous supplement” (or autonomous pharmakon) is not only attributable to Greek thinkers like Gorgias, Socrates, and Plato but is anticipated by far more ancient Egyptian, “black,” or African concepts of the word.


Middle East Niger Delta Jewish People Ancient Egyptian Occult Power 
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© Christopher Wise 2009

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  • Christopher Wise

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