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Thanks very much for this, exceptionally clear, faithful and original post. For me it's very helpful, especially in further unpacking Agamben's defense (among other things, to the perceived charge of what John Holbo likes to call "The High Eclecticism"). That you do this while remaining faithful to his thought, and respectful of the extraordinary richness (and consistency) of his larger project, that is, without merely sharpening knives, strikes me as high commendable (and hospitable of course, toward a future).

Still, I'll be curious to see whether your extraction of a certain B from the "bear hug" (a diagnosis that strikes me as richly provocative, and accurate) will be destined to turn around and bump into any Ds along the path.


Matt, ahh, funny you should ask . . . This bit, and A's relation to Benjamin in particular, is part of a much larger thing (a book, in fact, knock wood, etc.) on the relationship of A's political philosophy to a certain D's. The specific part of that project that this relates to is one that focuses on Benjamin's complex role in both thinkers' somewhat different notions of "political messianism" -- in a nutshell, my thesis is, Benjamin is actually closer to Derrida, even though Agamben purports to embrace him whole-heartedly and Derrida was at consistent pains to distance himself from Benjamin's messianism. I gave a paper about a year ago that began to flesh this out for myself ("Benjamin between Agamben and Derrida: Some Plumpes Denken about Political Messianism), and am taking another crack at it soon (focusing on Benjamin/Agamben only this time) in a paper on Agamben's Paul book. So you're absolutely right, and I have already "bumped into a D" along the path . . .


I suspected so. Thanks for sharing; again, it all sounds extremely interesting.

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