‘A Few Words of Welcome’

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Abstract:

This paper examines the contemporary absence of hospitality. Is today’s absent hospitality to be understood as a moral disaster, and a failure of responsibility? Or should we think of the silence in place of yesterday (or tomorrow’s) ‘welcome’ as the exemplary mode of hospitality. Through a polemical reading of Jacques Derrida’s texts on hospitality, it is possible to argue that – far from representing a dereliction of the word ‘welcome’, the contemporary silence on the question of hospitality can be interpreted as the zenith of hospitality itself. Whether this silence stands for the final word on hospitality is, however, a question which remains unresolved.