Derrida on Freud’s Fort/Da

“To be sure, the theme of play is there. However, if one understands the fort/da beyond what it seems Freud intends to say, then one may exceed the limits of the game toward the play of the world where the fort/da is no longer simply the relation of subject to object. It is, instead, that which has absolute command over all experience in general. Freud, on the other hand, always ends up finding his interpretations insufficient. One by one, he throws them away and moves on to another. He always has to take one more step: he moves onto another which he also throws away until finally he retains no single interpretation. He himself is doing fort/da with his interpretations and it never stops.”

Jacques Derrida, The Ear of the Other, University of Nebraska Press, 1985.

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