Sunday, March 31, 2013

Post on Derrida's The Post Card and Poe

Derrida and Poe both use the phrase "in the dark."

Here I am asking questions in the dark.  Or in a penumbra, rather, the penumbra in which we keep ourselves when Freud’s unanalyzed reaches out its phosphorescent antennae.
--Jacques Derrida, "To Speculate--On 'Freud'," The Post Card, trans. Alan Bass, 278

We had been sitting in the dark, and Dupin now arose for the purpose of lighting a lamp, but sat down again, without doing so, upon G.’s saying that he had called to consult us, or rather to ask the opinion of my friend, about some official business which had occasioned a great deal of trouble.  

“If it is any point requiring reflection,” observed Dupin, as he forbore to enkindle the wick, “we shall examine it to better purpose in the dark.”

--Edgar Allan Poe, "THE PURLOINED LETTER" (first page)

And here is the first sentence of Poe's story:

At Paris, just after dark one gusty evening in the autumn of 18—, I was enjoying the twofold luxury of meditation and a meerschaum, in company with my friend C. Auguste Dupin, in his little back library, or book-closet, au troisieme, No. 33, Rue Dunot, Faubourg St. Germain


Coincidence? Derrida does not use the phrase"in the dark" in his chapter on Lacan's reading of Poe's story, entitled "Le facteur de la verite." (not translated from French into English by Alan Bass, but meaning "The Purveyor / Postman of Truth").   Did Derrida post Poe back to Freud?

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