In the Name of Friendship: Deguy, Derrida and Salut


In the Name of Friendship: Deguy, Derrida and "Salut " centres on the relationship between poet Michel Deguy and philosopher Jacques Derrida. Translations of two essays, "Of Contemporaneity" by Deguy and "How to Name" by Derrida, allow Christopher Elson and Garry Sherbert to develop the implications of this singular intellectual friendship. In these thinkers’ efforts to reinvent secular forms of the sacred, such as the singularity of the name, and especially poetic naming, Deguy, by adopting a Derridean programme of the impossible, and Derrida, by developing Deguy's ethics of naming through the word "salut," situate themselves at the forefront of contemporary debates over politics and religion alongside figures like Alain Badiou and Jean-Luc Marion, John Caputo and Martin Hagglund.

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Biographical Note

Christopher Elson (Ph.D. 1995, University of Paris-IV) is Associate Professor of French at Dalhousie University. Author, translator and editor of articles and volumes on contemporary French culture including translator and editor of Michel Deguy’s A Man of Little Faith (2014).

Garry Sherbert (Ph.D. 1992, University of Alberta), is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Regina. He has published articles on Derrida, and books on Menippean satire, Canadian culture, including Northrop Frye’s Writings on Shakespeare and the Renaissance (2010).

Table of contents


Adelaide Russo
Foreword: Of Friendship with Derrida
Michel Deguy
Translator’s Note

Polemical Introduction
1 The Poetics of Friendship
2 “The Sacred Without the Sacred”: Salut and the Metonymy of Poetic Nomination
3 Of Contemporaneity: A Talk for Jacques Derrida
Michel Deguy
4 The Poet’s Duty: Michel Deguy’s Deconstructive Poethics
Christopher Elson
5 How to Name
Jacques Derrida
6 Calling Names: Derrida, Deguy, and Spectropoetics
Garry Sherbert
7 “A Religion of the Event”: Salut, Ethics, and Quasi-Atheistic Transcendence

Appendix of Additional Texts by Michel Deguy


For all readers interested in the ethical, cultural and religious implications of naming in literature and philosophy focusing on the works of poet Michel Deguy and philosopher Jacques Derrida.