Kevin has a post up in response to my latest post, where he says:
“I have some difficulty with the prevalence of the idea of “hautology” on the internet thesedays, as the word seems to operate as something of meme, without coherent conceptual content (no determinative defintion, with all kinds of phenomena being grouped under its heading). And perhaps the word “ghost” can be seen as symbiont to it. And I can’t see where the idea as it is loosely used is much improved from Benjamin’s concept of the Angel of History…”
The nod to Benjamin is appreciated, as Part II of my “Bones of Ghosts” posts is actually about Benjamin, his “Berlin Chronicle” specifically, which is another piece in the puzzle of how I came to Spectral Realism as I see it today. Benjamin is someone who I have not read systematically, but in bits and pieces, but have always enjoyed as he is a beautiful writer.
On my use of the term “hauntology” however, I have to say that I was actually surprised to see its prevalence in the tubes. I have taken the term directly from my reading of Derrida. That is, I see it much like Graham Harman’s reading of Heidegger; where he found a “lost road,” a potential path in Heidegger’s writing that had been overlooked and in some cases directly covered over, I am attempting to make a similar move with Derrida. When Derrida says that the situation of the “spectre” poses a problem to metaphysics of presence, I think he’s misreading the situation. The spectre is not the exception to the rule (it is not a “problem” to be solved), but is rather to be seen as the prime example of metaphysics: it is a (non)being, pure and simple. There is no “spectral dilemma” in the true sense of the term, where we must categorize it as either a being or a non-being, as it is both and neither. Just as Graham extends the example of tool-beings to all objects, reading the hammer analysis into the experience of all objects and the experience that those objects must have with each other, I read the Derridean problem of the spectre as a quasi-being (a holy spirit) into all beings.
In this way, I do not use the term “hauntology” simply in reference to a philosophy of history (as it is mostly known) or in terms of musical genre, but as I think Derrida intended it: Hauntology is true metaphysics in the face of the dichotomy enforced by Ontology proper. Hauntology, as I read it, takes the spectral situation seriously, and as I am attempting to further it, sees that the spectre as viewed by Derrida isn’t exclusive to denominated or delineated “spectres” but is rather the truth of all (non)beings, or what I call “ghosts.”
More on this soon, I hope.