Derrida and the exemplarity of literature

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  • Kristian Olesen Toft
Jacques Derrida’s scattered remarks on the ambiguous role examples play in the passage between the universal and the singular revolve around an often-neglected point: Any attempt to theorise exemplarity will itself be subject to the law it seeks to account for. This oversight limits much scholarship on the subject, but may be amended by returning to the loci classici in "Glas", "La verité en peinture", "Passions", etc. Furthermore, in three texts published in the 1980’s: "La loi du genre", "Préjugés", and "Psyché", Derrida emphasises how literature is particularly given to “remark” its own status as literature and as such provides a privileged example of the problem of exemplarity. Another example in which exemplarity is in general singularly implicated is deconstruction itself.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOrbis Litterarum
Issue numberI
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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