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As If, As Such

On Derrida, Husserl, and Literature

David E. Johnson

“As If, As Such” reads Derrida’s understanding of the institution of literature as both the most interesting thing in the world and “perhaps” more interesting than the world in relation to his remark that the noema remains one of the most difficult and problematic concepts in Husserl’s phenomenological toolbox. By focusing on the noema as the objective side of consciousness and thus as what does not properly belong to consciousness, hence as the site of the tension between form and matter, the following essay also explains why Derrida claimed that the “as” was always the target of deconstruction. Ultimately, “As If, As Such” seeks to elaborate what Derrida called the “power of literature” as that which is at work in the possibility of life.