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Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 10, Issue 2, Spring 2006

An Entrusted Responsibility: Reading and Remembering Jacques Derrida

Michael Naas
Pages 221-236
DOI: 10.5840/epoche200610210

Lifelines

“Prière à desceller d’une ligne de vie”: This is Jacques Derrida’s shortest published work—a one-line poem published back in 1986. In this essay I attempt to read this one-line poem through several texts of Derrida from the same period, including “Shibboleth” and “How to Avoid Speaking: Denials.” The essay is an attempt to bear witness to the extraordinary life and work of Derrida through a reading of this single line about life and work, living speech and the dead letter, life and living on, the destiny inscribed in a lifeline and the future of a lifeline in prayer.