“The Art of Writing Posthumous Papers”: Kierkegaard and the Spectral Audience
Languages of publication
The aim of this article is to develop a postmetaphysical conception of reading by following Kierkegaard’s Either/Or Part I (1843) through such Derridian concepts as secret, hospitality, and spectrality. The work focuses on the three essays addressed to the Symparanekromenoi (“the community of the dead”), a fellowship neither young nor old with an aphoristic way of life (2010b: 137-225) that can be understood as a figure of alterity. Special attention is paid to paratextual features of the book: the texts are actually presented as old papers found in a secretary desk by a pseudonymous editor (“Victor Eremita”), which suggests that every text is a posthumous paper, that is to say, it will always be read after the death of its author. Instead of finding a solid author who holds the semantic weight of the text, these papers are based in a blank of sense, a specter, a secret: if they are sustained on its author, then they are sustained in a mystery, not in a sort of revelation of meaning.
Publication order reference