Mourning, Magic, and Telepathy

Elissa Marder

in The Mother in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780823240555
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823240593 | DOI:
Mourning, Magic, and Telepathy

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This chapter examines how and why the question of failed or impossible mourning emerges in Jacques Derrida's writings, and suggests that his deconstructive challenge to psychoanalytic accounts of the work of mourning is critical to understanding the stakes of his thinking more generally. By looking at how Derrida both takes up and transforms the notion of the “crypt” from Nicolas Abraham and Maria Torok's psychoanalytic writings, it explores how, for Derrida, “magic” and “magical thinking” open up the psychic space of the subject “after deconstruction” to the alternative topographies and temporalities that are incarnated by literature, literary language, and the anasemic qualities associated with “magic words.” The chapter concludes with an analysis of the telepathic connection between Derrida's work on mourning and the crypt in “Fors” and Maria Torok's essay on telepathy in her “Afterword” to the English translation of The Wolfman's Magic Word.

Keywords: Jacques Derrida; mourning; Fors; crypt; introjection; semi-mourning; foreign body

Chapter.  6710 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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