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Editor’s Column: Reading Habits

Editor’s Column: Reading Habits Editor's Column Reading Habits This issue focuses on habits. The reception of "habit" among philosophers and theorists has been less than hospitable. Frequently set in opposition to what is called the event--or the Real in a Lacanian register--habits would seem to serve ideology and the symbolic order, whereas the event--habits' other, as it were-- calls us into an ethical relation, into "an ethics of the Real." Habits allegedly constitute our lifeless or quasi-mechanistic horizon, whereas the event punctures the psychic shield that such a horizon presumably affords. In its disruption of everydayness, the event opens a space for ethics, for thinking singularity as such. Jacques Derrida and others suggest such a reading of the event as an irreducible otherness. Yet, Derrida is also quick to caution against seeing the event as an ethical moment in itself. The event might be better described as the "nonethical opening of ethics" (140), as Derrida famously puts it in Of Grammatology. This reading invites us to rethink ethics "after" the event. Such a view no longer defines ethics in opposition to habits, but conceives of it as a commitment to the event, positing the possibility of an unlikely "ethical habitus." This notion http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

Editor’s Column: Reading Habits

The Comparatist , Volume 40 – Nov 11, 2016

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Southern Comparative Literature Association.
ISSN
1559-0887
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Abstract

Editor's Column Reading Habits This issue focuses on habits. The reception of "habit" among philosophers and theorists has been less than hospitable. Frequently set in opposition to what is called the event--or the Real in a Lacanian register--habits would seem to serve ideology and the symbolic order, whereas the event--habits' other, as it were-- calls us into an ethical relation, into "an ethics of the Real." Habits allegedly constitute our lifeless or quasi-mechanistic horizon, whereas the event punctures the psychic shield that such a horizon presumably affords. In its disruption of everydayness, the event opens a space for ethics, for thinking singularity as such. Jacques Derrida and others suggest such a reading of the event as an irreducible otherness. Yet, Derrida is also quick to caution against seeing the event as an ethical moment in itself. The event might be better described as the "nonethical opening of ethics" (140), as Derrida famously puts it in Of Grammatology. This reading invites us to rethink ethics "after" the event. Such a view no longer defines ethics in opposition to habits, but conceives of it as a commitment to the event, positing the possibility of an unlikely "ethical habitus." This notion

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Nov 11, 2016

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