Bit: Mourning Remains in Derrida and Cixous

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:
Bit: Mourning Remains in Derrida and Cixous

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This chapter explores mourning in the writings of Jacques Derrida and Hélène Cixous. For both Derrida and Cixous, mourning is an interminable event that defies closure, undermines presence, and has an intimate relationship with literary language. The chapter shows how both Derrida and Cixous challenge psychoanalytic models of the work of mourning by their reworking of the concept of mourning through the figure of all of the multiple forms, homonyms, and meanings that are associated with the French word “mordre” (to bite): these include the words “mort” (death) and “mors” (bit). The “bit” is a figure of incalculable and irrecuperable loss.

Keywords: Jacques Derrida; Hélène Cixous; mourning; Glas; Fors; Jean Genet; psychoanalysis; remorse; matchbox

Chapter.  8764 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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