Before the Specters: The Memory of a Promise (from the Archives)

Contexto Internacional 42 (1):125-148 (2020)
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This text was prompted by a forum discussing the legacy of Jacques Derrida’s Specters of Marx, twenty-five years after its publication. In this short essay, I explore the book’s influence on the fields of Marxism, post-Marxism, and beyond. With the problematic of heritage and legacy in mind, I raise the questions of sexual difference and dissemination as that which comes to interrupt the genealogical logic of inheritance understood as filiation and reproduction. I show that Derrida’s book, besides questioning reception and influence, yet remains to be read, especially in light of ongoing archival research on Derrida’s numerous engagements with Marx and Marxist thought in a series of unpublished seminars from the 1970s. This is done more specifically through a reading of an unpublished seminar from 1974-1975, dealing with the Marxian concepts of ideology and division of labor – which Derrida interrogates more particularly in relation to sex, sexuality, and sexual differences. This text was published in the section "Ambivalent Promises—Reproductions of the Subject: A Forum on Jacques Derrida’s Specters of Marx after 25 Years, Part IV", Contexto Internacional, 42 (1), pp. 125-148.



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