Expressing the Inexpressible: Lyotard and the Differend Jacob M. Held Marquette University Department of Philosophy Coughlin Hall P.O. Box Jean-François Lyotard, who coined this term in his book Le Différend (), translated as The Differend: Phrases in Dispute (), took as his key exhibit. The Différend () as “The Postmodern Condition, Part One”. Part One: The Historical Context. The life path and careers of Jean-François.

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He was frequently in a position to observe cultural changes that would leave lingering marks on society and his thought. Although he once considered becoming an artist a desire that would manifest itself in other booksLyotard became a teacher and was posted in Algeria in from towhere anti-colonialism, once below the surface, was breaking through.

Witnessing the injustice and brutality of French rule in Algeria apparently gave Lyotard a heightened sense of injustice and an instinct for situations which allowed unfairness to breed. Once in control of the mode of information production, the system could then instrumentalize students for performatativity for the state via education.

Jean-François Lyotard: “Le Différend,” Part One | Art History Unstuffed

The habit of a Marxist analysis existed as a subterranean subtext with in The Postmodern Condition: Certainly much of what Lyotard foresaw has come to pass: These very corporate and systems-based interests vie today to seize and control these new modes of production, as Lyotard would have predicted, but out of The Postmodern Condition came new concerns that still plague the culture lyotaed.


Nested inside this procession of propositions are intermittent series of paragraphs which discuss, in a smaller font, related writings of other philosophers and this internal progression of the argument has its own numbering system.

The structure within a loytard is rarely remarked upon in terms of its metaphorical value but it is worth noting that Lyotard included numerous other philosophical voices in a book which is devoted to examining the language games that silence one group so that another group can be empowered. He positioned a chorus of multi-vocaled discourses against the voicelessness of the Jews during the Holocaust.

When he eifferend to France in the early fifties, Lyotard arrived in a nation that had allowed itself to forget the Holocaust and the fate of French Jews at the hands of the French collaborationists and had rewritten the story of the Occupation as one of brave resistance and victimhood. In her book, Commemorating the Holocaust: In her introduction to Harnessing the Holocaust: Composed of clips from eighty hours of testimony gathered by Ophuls, the series destroyed the myth of the brave French Resistance and detailed how French collaborationists were responsible for sending Jewish children to concentration camps.

This odd lacunae in history—the reluctance to seek the truth and the resistance to the facts—was not a particular French fault but a generalized situation and the French Jews were actually lytoard in their demands that history be correctly and completely recounted. Pierre Vidal-Naquet, who had so strongly spoken out against torture in Algeria, then turned his attention towards this deliberate attempt to deny the historical truth in a series of essays published between and later collected in one book, Assassins of Memory: Faurisson denied the Holocaust along the specious lines of deploying the clothing of reason and logic, unwittingly perhaps echoing the asserted differens of extermination as uttered by the Nazis.


The Differend – Wikipedia

The text approaches the topic of Xifferend with the care of a mandator confronting a bull: Lyotard suddenly focuses on the linguistic mechanics of the dehumanization of the Jews only to withdraw into long drawn out philosophical ruminations until suddenly he reverts and produces a few new paragraphs on the Holocaust.

His is an elaborate and delicate dance with the most difficult of topics, a subject that defies language and explication.

Wisely, Lyotard, not a historian he once wanted to be an art historianprised open the language game that deprived the victims of their right to speak: If you have found this material useful, please give credit to. If you have found this difffrend useful, please give credit to Dr.