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In this brilliant essay, Jacques Derrida explores issues of vision, blindness, self-representation, and their relation to drawing, while offering detailed readings of an extraordinary collection of images.Selected by Derrida from the prints and drawings department of the Louvre, the works depict blindness—fictional, historical, and biblical.An exploration of sight, representation, and art, Memoirs of the Blind extends and deepens the meditation on vision and painting presented in Truth and Painting.
As mentioned earlier, one’s signature can indeed operate as a Yes.
A signature can certify that Yes, I have read this document’s guidelines with my own eyes; or Yes, I can corroborate that I filled out this form truthfully; or Yes, the person before you is in fact the person he says he is.
As Graham Harman moans, “No figure in the history of philosophy is simultaneously so observant and so irritating as Jacques Derrida” (110).
Indeed, Derrida leaves no pebble or pun unturned in his close reading of Joyce’s pioneering text.
Then, there are the moments when the word Yes does not even signify a Yes.
This problem of mistaken meaning, confused context, and fractured communication brings me to James Joyce’s Ulysses, and specifically, Derrida’s reading of the novel.
One’s signature (and, for that matter, initials) is often used as a representation of both the affirming Yes and proof of one’s identity. Returning to Derrida’s primary point, Ulysses presents a day in the ho-hum life of Leopold Bloom.
He’s a failure at his job; his friends despise him; and he rightfully suspects his wife is cheating on him.
This theory states that language is an inadequate method to give an unambiguous definition of a work, as the meaning of text can differ depending on reader, time, and context.
During his lifetime, he wrote more than 40 books on various aspects of deconstruction including Of Grammatology, Glas, The Postcard: From Socrates to Freud and Beyond, and Ulysses Gramophone: Hear Say Yes in Joyce.