Textual Practice, 27, (4), . (doi:10.1080/0950236X.2012.751445).
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This article responds to Derrida's vexed relationship to the Jewish questions that have arisen in connection with his work. It argues that Derrida, like Freud, suffered from a condition that this article has called, or rather diagnosed as "circumcision anxiety," which, unlike castration anxiety, concerns the relationship with the sibling or brother rather than the parent and fears not abandonment so much as the consequences of election or love. Looking at a range of Derrida's texts (including Shibboleth, Circumfession, Archive Fever, Faith and Knowledge, and others), the article will argue that Derrida was engaged in a complex form of commitment to and responsibility for the question of his own Jewishness. Derrida's response to the so-called "Jewish question" in the period after the war should also be distinguished from the responses of most other French philosophers, from Sartre onwards. The article will go on to suggest that the mark of Derrida's "faithfulness" as a Jew lies precisely in his frequent refusals, rejections and denials of any obvious form of Jewish identity, attachment or belonging.
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