The Individual Within the Community
Chapter Five. Sky Burial: Neither the Last Word nor the First 217
• C H A P T E R F I V E • Sky Burial: Neither the Last Word nor the First As a “wizard and imitator,” the Sophist is capable of “producing” “likenesses and homonyms” of everything that exists (234b–235a). The Sophist mimes the poetic, which nevertheless itself comprises the mimetic; he produces production’s double. But just at the point of capture, the Sophist still eludes his pursuers through a supplementary division, extended toward a vanishing point, between two forms of the mimetic (235d): the making of likenesses (the eikastic) or faithful reproduction, and the making of semblances (the fantastic), which simulates the eikastic, pretending to simulate faithfully and deceiving the eye with a simulacrum (a phantasm), which constitute “a very extensive class, in painting (zōgrahia) and in imitation of all sorts.” This is an aporia (236e) for the philosophical hunter, who comes to a stop before this bifurcation, incapable of continuing to track down his quarry; it is an endless escape route for the quarry (who is also a hunter), who will turn up again, after a long detour, in the direction of Mallarmé’s “Mimique.” This mimodrama and the double science arising from it will have concerned only a certain obliterated history of the relations between philosophy and sophistics. —Jacques Derrida, Footnote to the “First Session” A sky burial had just taken place when the three friends arrived on the mountaintop. White khata carves and streamers were fluttering in the breeze; little scraps of paper money danced...
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