Derrida au Royaume des Mères Mortes: Fragments d’une poétique du don au Moyen Âge

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Because it is a pure movement that is inscribed in the elusiveness of thought, the gift is undoubtedly one of the most complex notions to understand. From Anthropology to Psychoanalysis, through Sociology, Economics, History, Philosophy, Theology or Literary Theory, most of the social and human sciences have tried to pierce its enigma, which means recognizing its primordial place at the heart of social and cultural practices on which the human condition is based
in all its complexity. Indeed, if classical theories (Mauss) define it as a circular movement that structures economic and symbolic exchanges, is the gift not also the negation of exchange (Derrida), that which evades any transaction, that which belongs to the sphere of law and desire, of the visible and the invisible, of the pure and the impure, of spontaneity and obligation, of wisdom and madness? Because it emerges within a flourishing urban civilization where the gift giving economy is increasingly challenged or threatened by the monetary and market economy, medieval literature has proved to be particularly receptive to this very figure of the impossible that is the gift, to its unstable boundaries, to its contradictory impulses. However, beyond the numerous artifacts that circulate intensely within medieval narratives, prologues and epilogues reveal that it is also the poetic word that is part of a unifying dynamic of oblative through which literature is also a pure movement punctuated by secret negotiations and paradoxical transactions.
Original languageFrench
Title of host publicationPoétiques et pratiques du don
EditorsMaria de Jesus Reis Cabral, José Domingues de Almeida
Place of PublicationParis
PublisherÉditions Le Manuscrit
Number of pages51
ISBN (Print)9782304052664
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Publication series



  • Medieval French Literature and Culture

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