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The Empire of Fame: Writing and the Voice in Early Medieval China

The Empire of Fame: Writing and the Voice in Early Medieval China The Empire of Fame: Writing and the Voice in Early Medieval China Hajime Nakatani Jacques Derrida’s assault on phonocentrism has altered the very ground on which one addresses the question of orality and literacy, the charged binary that controlled and continues to control contemporary debates on signification, subjectivity, and power. Derrida’s by now classic reading of LéviStrauss’s Tristes tropiques constitutes one of the inaugurating moments for his deconstructive project, in which he systematically dismantles the matrix of oppositions that structures the anthropologist’s allegory of loss by writing. Derrida insists that the Nambikwara, on whom Lévi-Strauss projects the Western fantasies of originary innocence, are in fact not ignorant of the violence of difference, dislocation, and abstraction that attends upon any historical formation. And insofar as such an intersection of meaning and power is typically aligned with writing, the Nambikwara are not ignorant of a certain “writing” either, even before the advent of the anthropologist positions 14:3 doi 10.1215/10679847-2006-013 Copyright 2006 by Duke University Press positions 14:3 Winter 2006 and his gospel of phonetic technology. Derrida variously calls this extended sense of writing the “trace,” “arche-writing,” or the gramme. It is the inscriptive logic that strides the variety of physical http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions asia critique Duke University Press

The Empire of Fame: Writing and the Voice in Early Medieval China

positions asia critique , Volume 14 (3) – Dec 1, 2006

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
© 2006 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1067-9847
DOI
10.1215/10679847-2006-013
Publisher site
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Abstract

The Empire of Fame: Writing and the Voice in Early Medieval China Hajime Nakatani Jacques Derrida’s assault on phonocentrism has altered the very ground on which one addresses the question of orality and literacy, the charged binary that controlled and continues to control contemporary debates on signification, subjectivity, and power. Derrida’s by now classic reading of LéviStrauss’s Tristes tropiques constitutes one of the inaugurating moments for his deconstructive project, in which he systematically dismantles the matrix of oppositions that structures the anthropologist’s allegory of loss by writing. Derrida insists that the Nambikwara, on whom Lévi-Strauss projects the Western fantasies of originary innocence, are in fact not ignorant of the violence of difference, dislocation, and abstraction that attends upon any historical formation. And insofar as such an intersection of meaning and power is typically aligned with writing, the Nambikwara are not ignorant of a certain “writing” either, even before the advent of the anthropologist positions 14:3 doi 10.1215/10679847-2006-013 Copyright 2006 by Duke University Press positions 14:3 Winter 2006 and his gospel of phonetic technology. Derrida variously calls this extended sense of writing the “trace,” “arche-writing,” or the gramme. It is the inscriptive logic that strides the variety of physical

Journal

positions asia critiqueDuke University Press

Published: Dec 1, 2006

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