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Journal Articles Paragraph Year : 2021

Derrida's Missing Woman

Charlotte Thevenet
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Since Sarah Kofman's death in 1994, many critics have investigated her friendship with Jacques Derrida, and have tried to make sense of its striking dissymmetry. Contrary to those merely deeming Kofman ‘an orthodox Derridean’ (Alice Jardine), thus ascribing to her the unrewarding role of the disciple, Penelope Deutscher and more recently Ginette Michaud, among others, have endeavoured to interpret Derrida's odd silences and omissions regarding Kofman's work in a more subtle manner. Drawing on these readings, this article questions the erasure of ‘Sarah Kofman’ from Derrida's oeuvre by comparing it to the paradoxical effacement of ‘woman’ in the philosopher's texts, arguing that ‘Sarah Kofman’ both as a proper name and as a corpus figures the ‘woman’ missing from Derrida's work. Drawing on the work of feminist critics like Jardine, Miller and Spivak, the article retraces the ambiguous function of ‘woman’ in Derrida's writing, before stressing parallels between ‘Sarah Kofman’ and the Derridean ‘woman’.
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Dates and versions

hal-03247253 , version 1 (02-06-2021)



Charlotte Thevenet. Derrida's Missing Woman. Paragraph, 2021, 44 (1), pp.58-72. ⟨10.3366/para.2021.0354⟩. ⟨hal-03247253⟩
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