By Dante Alighieri; Derrida, Jacques; Ambrosio, Francis J.; Derrida, Jacques; Dante Alighieri
Discusses Derrida as a spiritual philosopher, examining Dante's Commedia and Derrida's spiritual writings together.
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Additional resources for Dante and Derrida : face to face
Dante adopts dissimulation as the occasion and style of writing both the poems and their later interpretation. This seals the contract in writing between Dante and Amor. It also clarifies the identity of both figures in this first melodramatic episode of the secret calling to enter into the larger drama of conversion contained in the promise of writing. Dante VITA N UOVA : T H E P ROM I S E OF W R I T I N G 29 the love-slave and the lordly Amor are the dissociated elements of a concretely existing personal freedom, the historical person Dante, to whom the vocation to writing and the call to conversion are addressed as the truth of the revelation he experiences in the person of Beatrice.
But the promise of writing is always and only fulfilled through the Gift of Death, which pays the price for the an-economy10, the prodigious prodigality and hyperbolic excess of the promise of a genuinely new beginning, of a true singularity and singular truth. A promise is always an act of impropriety and importunity; whatever it promises, it draws on credit, offering present property as collateral for future gift. But the asymmetry between its structural elements, property and gift, present and future, reveals the impossibility of promising, the unpromising possibility contained within the structure of promising itself: its necessary, secret emptiness.
One of the most significant, indeed perhaps the critical, manifestation of this primal ambiguity of the experience of love, which originates in the Secret that love keeps in giving all its gifts—that, radiant with promise though they be, that promise necessarily remains empty—is the ambiguity of sexual gender identity. Whether in the sexual ethos of Plato’s Greece or the altogether differently stylized courtly mores of feudal chivalry, the “flight from woman,” as Jung terms this dynamism, is apparent.