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26 Law & Literature 1 (2014)

handle is hein.journals/lal26 and id is 1 raw text is: LAW & LITERATURE * VOLUME 26 * NUMBER I

Admiration of Nelson Mandela, or
The Laws of Reflection: Translator's
Introduction
Charles Gelman
[... . it is on the basis of examples and on the terrifying casuistry of
these examples that these philosophemes or these meta-philoso-
phemes must be put to the test. And an aporetic casuistry, naturally.1
Jacques Derrida's Admiration de Nelson Mandela, ou Les lois de la r6flexion, here
newly translated, was first published in Pour Nelson Mandela (Gallimard, 1986), a
collection that Derrida conceived of and edited alongside Mustapha Tlili, and which
included contributions from Samuel Beckett, Maurice Blanchot, H6lene Cixous,
Edmond Jabes, and Susan Sontag, among others. In his preface to the English edi-
tion, Tlili recalls that that the idea for the book had originated in a dialogue
between Antonio Saura, Jacques Derrida, and me during our congenial, enthusias-
tic collaboration on the exhibition catalogue [for the traveling exhibition, launched
in 1983, Art contre /against Apartheid].2 (Derrida had contributed an essay to that
catalogue as well, Le dernier mot du racisme, which a few years later would
become the subject of a minor polemic in the back pages of Critical Inquiry.3)
Here, Tlili continues, you will find no slogan, proclamation, declaration, or any-
thing like a cult of personality. The goal was to gather literary acts of compassion
and rigor controlled only by each writer's art and creativity.4 Compassion and
rigor, he says, and I think that it merits underlining. For these values - and it
hardly goes without saying that they should be naturally or easily conjugated -
Derrida refracts, as it were, through the lens or the optic, which is also and above
all a rhetorical as well as a philosophical device, of admiration.5 Thus, since it is my
task here briefly to introduce this new translation of Derrida's Admiration of Nel-
son Mandela, or The Laws of Reflection allow me to advise the reader first of all to
Law& Literature, VOL. 26, ISSUE 1, PP. 1-8. ISSN 1535-685X, ELECTRONIC ISSN 1541-2601.
D 2014 by The Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University. AI rights reserved. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/
1535685X.2014.888197.

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