Chapter

Not Now

Nicholas Royle

in In Memory of Jacques Derrida

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780748632954
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671625 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748632954.003.0002
Not Now

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This chapter describes the quotation, ‘Not now’ in three different cryptic instances. The first one is David McKee's Not Now, Bernard. It is an example of that impossible genre called ‘children's literature’, a genre not especially linked with the work of Jacques Derrida, despite the fact that ‘the problem of the child’ is a consistent focus of attention in that work. This book is both funny and appalling. The appeal of McKee's ‘all-time’, ‘not now’ classic would doubtless lie in the name of Bernard, its singularity, but also in its substitutability, its replaceability. Secondly, ‘Not now’ is a quotation from part of the title of a lecture Derrida gave at Cornell University, ‘No Apocalypse, Not Now’. The last cryptic instance is from Shakespeare's Hamlet. Hamlet is about forms of deferral, delay or afterwardness to be thought on the basis of the present.

Keywords: Not now; David McKee; Bernard; Jacques Derrida; Shakespeare; Hamlet; deferral; delay; afterwardness

Chapter.  7409 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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