Hospitality and being the master of the house #clmooc

hospitalSomeone wrote ” … As Derrida makes explicit, there is a more existential example of this tension, in that the notion of hospitality requires one to be the ‘master’ of the house, country or nation (and hence controlling). His point is relatively simple here; to be hospitable, it is first necessary that one must have the power to host. …”

And again Derrida proves to be wrong in translation, hospitalité (fr Fait de recevoir quelqu’un chez soi gratuitement et avec amabilité.) has a different meaning from hospitable (en). In English it also means receptive and open-minded, welcoming, and it is also about parties and meals. In French it is mainly let someone stay without asking money (sleep and live) under one’s roof. Very close meaning to ‘hospital’.
When sitting on a beach (the train, the grass) and some asked you if it is permitted to occupy the place next to you. Saying yes you are welcome, is hospitality, and you need not own the beach. Hospitality (en) is not in the place it is in the human. (In French it is more about houses and places) In English it is connected to being a good host.

Author: annacow

Bovine participant of DS106

3 thoughts on “Hospitality and being the master of the house #clmooc”

  1. Good point ! Sometimes i don’t mind that i am never sure what Derrida means … His translated writing is already interpretation so i reinterpret it to what makes sense for my own context and fly from there

    I have a feeling he’d be hospitable enough to accept my interpretation as long as i don’t attribute it to him 😉

    But thanks for clarification about this – i did not know the French meaning was so specific and different . I do think that the bench example isn’t exactly different. Being there “first” gives a small privilege to a person , right? Even if they don’t own it

    1. I agree with Maha that the bench example fits with Derrida’s sense of hospitability as controlling. My reading is that the focus of his thinking is in the distinction between ideals of unconditional hospitable practice and the conditions placed on these ideals by implementation.

      Hospitals, also hostages.

  2. agree, some people do act as if the bench is property. But in metro and other crowded places that is not regarded as proper behavior.
    The right explanation is the psychology of the privacy. People do not want strangers to invade their private circle. In the metro that circle is small, and on a bench in a park that circle is bigger.

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