By Elisabeth Weber

For Jacques Derrida, the notions and stories of "community," "living," and "together" by no means ceased to harbor radical, in truth limitless interrogations. the customarily anguished query of the way to "live together" moved Derrida all through his oeuvre, animating his sustained reflections on hospitality, friendship, accountability, justice, forgiveness, and mourning, in addition to his interventions as an outspoken critic of South Africa's apartheid, the Israel/Palestine clash, the bloody civil conflict in his local Algeria, human rights abuses, French immigration legislation, the loss of life penalty, and the "war on terror." "Live together," Derrida wrote, "one needs to . . . one can't now not 'live together,' no matter if one doesn't understand how or with whom."

In this quantity, the paradoxes, impossibilities, and singular possibilities that hang-out the need of "living together" come to mind in Derrida's essay "Avowing--The most unlikely: 'Returns,' Repentance, and Reconciliation," round which the gathering is accrued. Written via students in literary feedback, philosophy, criminal stories, non secular stories, center jap reports, and sociology operating in North the United States, Europe, and the center East, the essays during this quantity take on concerns comparable to the obligations and fragility of democracy; the pitfalls of decreed reconciliation; the re-legitimization of torture within the "war on terror"; the connections among Orientalism, Semitism, and anti-Semitism; the delocalizing dynamics of globalization; crimes opposed to humanity; nationalism; and politics because the artwork now not of the prospective yet of the impossible.

The quantity comprises analyses of present controversies and struggles. the following, Derrida is right here learn in and in regards to components of extreme political conflict--in specific, those who oppose Israelis and Palestinians, Hindus and Muslims, sufferers and perpetrators of South African apartheid, Turks and Armenians.The necessity of an infinitely sufferer mirrored image is going hand in hand with the duty of justice as that which mustn't ever wait. it's within the spirit of such urgency, of a accountability that can not be postponed, that the essays during this quantity interact with Derrida's pondering on "living together."

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Extra resources for Living Together: Jacques Derrida's Communities of Violence and Peace

Example text

As problematic as it remains, and whatever the elaborations it still calls for, the concept of crime against humanity (created, as you know, by the international court at Nuremberg in 1945) is the juridical mechanism of this globalization of avowal. This unprecedented event affects at its root a condition of “living together”; but it also marks the aftereffect of a moment in the history of humanity that keeps the wound of the Shoah, even if it is not, of course, reducible to that. This advent of a new juridical concept is the very memory of the Shoah.

I was attending this colloquium, then, without participating, quite a long time ago, in the 1960s no doubt, probably in 1965. Close to Emmanuel Levinas, near him, perhaps together with him. In truth, I was here thanks [grâce] to him, turned toward him. That is still the case today, differently. Another way of recalling, at the moment when I want to salute the name of the admired friend, that one can “live together” with the dead. This will be my conclusion in a moment, when I will return, finally, to Jerusalem and tell you about my first visit to the cemetery of this city the whole of which [dont l’ensemble], the being-together of which [l’être-ensemble] remain to be thought.

Nation-states, institutions (corporations, armies, churches) must appear before a court; sometimes former heads of state or military leaders must give account—whether willingly or not—in front of instances that are in principle universal, in front of an international law that does not cease to be refined and to consolidate new nongovernmental powers, to force belligerent parties to recognize their past crimes and to negotiate over the peace of a new “living together,” to judge in exemplary fashion governing individuals (dictators or 33 JACQUES DERRIDA not) while being careful not to forget the states, sometimes foreign states, that have sustained or manipulated them (the important signal constituted by the removal of Pinochet’s immunity would have to go far beyond his own person and even beyond his own country).

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