Handling value: Notes on Derrida's inheritance of Marx

Pepperell, N 2009, 'Handling value: Notes on Derrida's inheritance of Marx', Derrida Today, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 222-233.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Handling value: Notes on Derrida's inheritance of Marx
Author(s) Pepperell, N
Year 2009
Journal name Derrida Today
Volume number 2
Issue number 2
Start page 222
End page 233
Total pages 12
Publisher Edinburgh University Press
Abstract Derrida's Specters of Marx asks whether and how we could inherit Marx today: whether we might find, in a certain spirit of Marx, the critical resources to challenge resurgent liberal ideals, without this challenge assuming a dogmatic or totalitarian form. Derrida's own response to this question involves a curious move: a material transformation of Marx's text, in which Derrida first foreshadows, and then carries out, the excision of a single sentence from the pivotal passage in which Marx christens the commodity fetish. The excision subtly transforms the meaning of Marx's text and, in the process, acts out a vision of inheritance as an active, transformative performance, rather than as a passive transmission of inherited content to its heirs. In this paper, I explore the way in which Derrida foreshadows and then effects this curious elision. I highlight the distinctive understanding of transformative inheritance at the heart of Derrida's text, and also pose the question of why Derrida should effect this particular transformation in the search for a certain deconstructive spirit in Marx's work.
Subject Social Theory
Keyword(s) Derrida
Specters of Marx
commodity fetish
DOI - identifier 10.3366/E1754850009000554
ISSN 1754-8500
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Created: Mon, 06 Dec 2010, 14:11:00 EST by Catalyst Administrator
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