The Time of Hospitality—Again


in Phenomenologies of the Stranger

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780823234615
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240722 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

The Time of Hospitality—Again

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There seems to be some indiscernible and subtle relation between the thought of hospitality toward an absolute stranger, and the syntagm “awaiting death.” What is more, this relation seems to inform any scene of hospitality — be the other family, friend, or foreigner. In Of Hospitality, Jacques Derrida situates the question of hospitality in relation to the absolute anonymous other who washes up on the shore bereft of the cosmopolitical rights that distinguish the legitimate foreigner. This chapter retraces Derrida's thinking and interprets Of Hospitality in relation to Aporias, finding in both texts a story of the visitation by death. Absolute hospitality — awaiting and attending to the absolute Other — bears striking resemblance to the event of “awaiting death.” Such hospitality compares to a divine “visitation” wherein the guest is uninvited and uninvitable. The chapter cites stories of visitations illustrating and amplifying Derrida's account in Dante's biography, a poem by D. H. Lawrence, and the Katha Upanishad.

Keywords: Of Hospitality; Jacques Derrida; Aporias; hospitality; death; foreigner; visitation; Other; Dante; D. H. Lawrence

Chapter.  7139 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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