2021-03Thematic Section
Broken Latin, Secret Europe: Benjamin, Celan, Derrida

Abstract:

The author begins by analyzing Walter Benjamin’s quarrel with George Kreis and the respective visions of culture advocated by both sides of the debate. Then, he offers a reading of a poem by Paul Celan in which the poet sides with Benjamin, but also makes his position more complex, ultimately offering a paradoxical figure of “the secret openness” or “open/public secrecy” as a remedy against the “mystery” of the Georgians. This idea can be seen as developed in Jacques Derrida’s understanding of secrecy, which the author proceeds to analyze. The secrecy as a deconstructive rift in the public discourse, a split which tears it open, can be seen as opposed both to the undemocratic mystery and to the seeming openness of globalatinization. After considering the formal, political and (post)religious aspects of secrecy, the author ends with showing how literature as such is the most powerful medium of Derridean secret.

Keywords:

Jacques Derrida, Paul Celan, Walter Benjamin, secrecy, literature

How to cite:

Lipszyc, Adam. “Broken Latin, Secret Europe: Benjamin, Celan, Derrida.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 5, no. 3 (2021):  82-91. https://doi.org/10.14394/eidos.jpc.2021.0029.

Author:

Adam Lipszyc
Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences
72 Nowy Świat Street, 00-330 Warsaw, Poland
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6425-7812
adamlipszyc@gmail.com

References:

Benjamin, Walter. “Against a Masterpiece.” In Selected Writings, Vol. 2, edited by Michael W. Jennings, Howerd Eiland, and Gary Smith. Translated by Rodney Livingstone. Cambridge, MA and London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1999.

Benjamin, Walter. “Goethe’s Elective Affinities.” In Selected Writings, Vol. 1, edited by Michael W. Jennings, Howerd Eiland, and Gary Smith. Translated by Stanley Corngold. Cambridge, MA and London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1996.

Celan, Paul. Die Gedichte. Kommentierte Gesamtausgabe in einem Band, edited by Barbara Wiedemann. Frankfurt am Main: Suhkamp Verlag, 2005.

 Derrida, Jacques. “Des Tours de Babel.” In Acts of Religion, edited by Gil Anidjar. Translated by Joseph F. Graham. New York and Great Britain: Routledge, 2002.

Derrida, Jacques. “Force of Law.” In Acts of Religion, edited by Gil Anidjar. Translated by Mary Quaintance. New York and Great Britain: Routledge, 2002.

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Derrida, Jacques. “Passions.” In On the Name, edited by Thomas Dutoit. Translated by David Wood. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995.

Derrida, Jacques. “Sauf le nom.” In On the Name, edited by Thomas Dutoit. Translated by John P. Leavy, Jr. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995.

Derrida, Jacques. “Khora.” In On the Name, edited by Thomas Dutoit. Translated by Ian McLeod. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995.

Derrida, Jacques. The Gift of Death, Second Edition and Literature in Secret. Translated by David Wills. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1995.

Derrida, Jacques. Specters of Marx. Translated by Peggy Kamuf. New York and London: Routledge, 1994.

Derrida, Jacques.“Literature in Secret: An Impossible Flirtation.” Translated by Adam Kotsko. Accessed November 31, 2015. https://itself.files.wordpress.com/2007/01/derrida-literature-in-secret.pdf.

Norton, Robert E. Secret Germany: Stefan George and his Circle. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2002. https://doi.org/10.7591/9781501729249.

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