herstory

Elwood 1991

Introduction

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Dawn

New lives can only be dreamed of.

1991 Fish dream , pastel on paper, artwork for the film Sophie(1991)

 

Derrida invents the word hauntology: 'the sphere of philosophy devoted to thinking about 'being', or 'ultimate existence.'

Long before Derrida deconstructed Joyce, the American nuclear scientist Murray Gell-Mann was reading Finnegan's Wake for pleasure. When Gell-Mann discovered a new species of sub-atomic particles he playfully decided to name them 'quarks', selecting the word from the [book]...For Joyce the literary neologist [inventor on new words], the word quark is open to a variety of punning and amusing interpretations. For Derrida it could doubtless be deconstructed to the point of meaninglessness. For Gell-Mann, and now the entire scientific world, it is the precise name for a species of sub-atomic particles having a spin 1/2 and electric charge +2/3 or -1/3 units, which combine to form the hadrons but have not been detected in a free state. In the above parable of interpretations, one is a literary use of language, another is a scientific use. What, if anything, the other is, remains entirely up to you (as, of course, Derrida would agree).

Strathern, Paul, 2003, p.42-43, The Essential Derrida, Virgin