The Derrida Phenomenon

By Domenica-Antoine Grisoni
Literary magazine n° 196 - June 1983.

Jacques Derrida caricatured by Pancho for the literary Magazine.


A coterie carrying an authentic philosophical step. At the head, Jacques Derrida: that which gives its name. And also, which gave the tone. A machine to crush the texts. A Master of reading.

Eh yes, there is a Derrida phenomenon well. At the hour of the great crisis of the models of the thought, of the which gallops intrusion of subjectivity in philosophy, of the confirmed death of the Master-thinkers, at the moment even where we will pour in the third millenium, imbus of revival and "post-modernism", some that the last intellectual archaisms are in process of resorption, there is still, with same the body of the French philosophy (or this which holds place of it), a kind of outgrowth vieillotte and insolente, an effect of group, a vault: derridiens. Philosophers à.la.mode old, who follow all evenly the work of a Master, stick to its steps, miment its tics, steal its words and coil their reflexion in thinnest meander of his.


Seen outside, the coterie often starts the laughter, and sometimes stimulates the humour of his detractors. The ones make fun what they name its logorrhée, or joke the "logology" (speech on the speech) which swells and tends to slip towards a "logologology" without end. Others scoff what they judge being a revival of the philosophical clericalism. Others finally see only the version there Xxe century of Invaluable ridiculous; but did these, the laugher-prosecutors, read work which they disparage? If you ask them the question, they will answer that obviously not, then that they are perfectly "illegible".
Critical easy, too convenient, which makes mine regulate an account, but do not regulate it. Also I will risk another assumption. That of a current derridien carrying an authentic philosophical step. Of a which been obstinated work, obscure and ungrateful. Of a rigorous, radical work in its expression because it does not aim anything less than definitively to sap the protective base of the Western speculative speech.
At the head thus, Jacques Derrida: that which gives its name. And also, which gave the tone. A machine to crush the texts. A Master of reading.
Almost the totality of sound œuvre in progress is appeared as comments. Plato, Rousseau, from Saussure, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud, Husserl, and well from others passed to the moulinette, "déconstruits" the ones after the others. With a simple and acknowledged aim: in finishing, through them, with traditional philosophy. To break the vicious circle of the illusions of truth which let believe that there are criticisms destroying. To further go that Nietzsche, for example, which proclaims the death of the metaphysics, which among the first carried the hardest blows to him, but which will never cease living with its phantom, of speaking its language and to reorganize its images. Or that Heidegger, another destroyer of this same metaphysics, which will not really arrive, in spite of its efforts, to get rid of its presupposed. It is with this trap, of the mode to think, which registers in the same mental space for and it against, back and its place, which Derrida wants to escape. Then it changes tactic. It inaugurates a strategy of the variation. It moves the glance. Either outside, but from now on inside the texts. The œil philosopher is inserted in the flesh of the concept, detects the most negligible articulations which hold welded the opposed couples, raison/déraison, présence/absence, etc i.e. what constitutes the architecture of the metaphysical spirit, and finishes by doing everything to explode. Illegible Derrida? Thus let us go: Derrida is a Devil, a Malignant philosopher. And read Of an apocalyptic tone adopted at one time in philosophy : you will find there in a luminous language the application of what I have just presented. The subversion of the texts by the œil and the ear. The philosophical one, strictly speaking.
Behind the Master: the close relations, the disciples, those which adopt its stakes, marry its engagements. A group whose members produce work of unequal interest. But from which Sarah Kofman is detached clearly. A philosopher who has a cast: œil right on the left phillosophie, œil on the psychoanalysis. All its books until now made fly. Readings without concessions, iconoclasts. The enigma of the woman : Freud just as it is, misogynist, working out his theory around a massive retention of femininity. Or the respect of the women : a comparative study of the systems of constraint and in the long term, negation of the female fact, through the speeches of Rousseau and Kant. And today, two short texts. Pugnacious. Aggressive. How to leave itself there? A question put with Plato, the examination of philosophy like poros (in the myth exposed in the Banquet, Poros is the god of ingeniousness, the success), i.e. like stratagem to reach the light. Simple translation of the metaphor: how to make that philosophy helps with knowledge? Then, slope psychoanalyses: An impossible trade. Reading of a writing of Freud going back to 1937, therefore among the last, Constructions in analysis. Malicious reading. Where it is learned that the Master of Vienna was until the end a quite bad lot, fixed on his capacity of analyst and eager to bequeath it intact to his successors. Here still which will not arrange the businesses of the French analysts.
An ultimate mention with Jean-Luc Nancy, who gathered in collection a series of articles disseminated through the reviews. It does not touch with morals, says it, but it scans some of its bases. And it is instructive.
With the assessment, Derrida, the derridiens: a free philosophical work, which continues in spite of the movements and the doubts. One can think of them what one wants. But that exists and that advances.

Quoted books
Of an apocalyptic tone adopted at one time in philosophy, Jcques Derrida. ED. Gallilée
The Categorical imperative, Jean-Luc Nancy. ED. Flammarion
How to leave itself there? Sarah Kofman. ED. Galileo
An impossible trade, Sarah Kofman. ED. Galillée

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