Speaking on Derrida’s theories in Ghosts

Speaking on Derrida’s theories in Ghosts: Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis, History (1999), Peter Buse and Andrew Scott state that “ghosts arrive from the past and appear in the present. However, the ghost cannot be properly said to belong to the past…the idea of a return from death fractures all traditional conceptions of temporality” (11). Buse and Scott further argue that “The temporality to which the ghost is subject is therefore paradoxical, at once they ‘return’ and make their apparitional debut” (11). Additionally, their interpretation of the term implies that it is in reference to a “dual movement of return and inauguration” (11).

I will employ the term, hauntology,as a reference to Derrida’s abstraction as well as the specter’s interchangeable movement between pasts, presents, and futures (51). Buse and Andrew’s interpretation of Derrida is specifically applicable to the specter’s return, or its haunting of the characters in Morrison’s text, specifically Sethe’s haunting and bedevilment from her presumed dead daughter, Beloved. This is also applicable to Sussie and Frikkie’s bedevilment of their parents and their parents’ legacies in the De Wett text.

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