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Derrida and Antiquity$
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Miriam Leonard

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199545544

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545544.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 December 2021

Derrida's Impression of Gradiva

Derrida's Impression of Gradiva

Archive Fever and Antiquity

(p.159) 5 Derrida's Impression of Gradiva
Derrida and Antiquity

Daniel Orrells (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses Derrida's reading of Freud's reading of Wilhelm Jensen's novel Gradiva: A Pompeian Fantasy. Derrida's interest is in how Jensen's novel provides space for Freud to conceptualize the intellectual relationship between psychoanalysis and classical archaeology. Derrida analyses how Freudian psychoanalysis alters what is meant by an ‘archive’ and how we access an archive. In Gradiva, Derrida sees Freud uncovering a fantasy that all archaeologists and historians have: just as Norbert Hanold wishes to witness the moment Gradiva leaves her footprint in the ashes and dies, so all historians wish they might witness the coincidence of the event with the archiving of that event. Derrida's deconstruction attests to the impossibility of such a coincidence, everlastingly alluring as it is.

Keywords:   Derrida, Freud, Jensen, Gradiva, psychoanalysis, archaeology, archive

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