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Hauntology (a portmanteau of haunting and ontology) is a concept coined by philosopher Jacques Derrida in his 1993 book Spectres of Marx.


The term refers to the situation of temporal, historical, and ontological disjunction in which the apparent presence of being is replaced by a deferred non-origin, represented by “the figure of the ghost as that which is neither present, nor absent, neither dead nor alive.


“[2] The concept is derived from Derrida’s deconstructive method, in which any attempt to locate the origin of identity or history must inevitably find itself dependent on an always-already existing set of linguistic conditions—thus making “haunting the state proper to being as such.”


In the 2000s, the term was taken up by critics in reference to paradoxes found in late modernity, particularly contemporary culture’s persistent recycling of retro aesthetics and incapacity to escape old social forms.


Critics such as Mark Fisher and Simon Reynolds used the term to describe art preoccupied with this temporal disjunction and defined by a “nostalgia for lost futures.”


Origins and definition


The concept has its roots in Derrida’s discussion of Karl Marx in Spectres of Marx, specifically Marx’s proclamation that “a spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of communism” in The Communist Manifesto.

この概念は、デリダがマルクスの亡霊のカール・マルクスを討論したことに由来し、具体的には、共産主義宣言の中で、「幽霊がヨーロッパを悩ましている – 共産主義の幽霊」というマルクスの宣言である。

Derrida also calls on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, particularly a phrase spoken by the titular character: “the time is out of joint.”


“Derrida’s prior work in deconstruction, on concepts of trace and différance in particular, serves as the foundation of his formulation of hauntology, fundamentally asserting that there is no temporal point of pure origin but only an “always-already absent present..” The word functions as a deliberate near-homophone to “ontology” in Derrida’s native French.

デリダの先例的な脱構築は、特に微妙な違いのコンセプトに基づいており、純粋な起源の時間的ポイントは存在しないが、「常に存在していない存在」だけを根本的に主張している。語は、デリダの母国語の “オントロジー”に意図的に近い同音異字として機能します。

Peter Buse and Andrew Scott, discussing Derrida’s notion of hauntology, explain:


Ghosts arrive from the past and appear in the present.


However, the ghost cannot be properly said to belong to the past. . . . Does then the ‘historical’ person who is identified with the ghost properly belong to the present? Surely not, as the idea of a return from death fractures all traditional conceptions of temporality.

しかし、幽霊は過去のものであるとはいえません。 。 。 。それでは、幽霊と識別された「歴史的」人物は、現在の所属ですか?確かに、死からの復帰のアイデアはすべての伝統的な時性の概念を破壊するので、そうではありません。

The temporality to which the ghost is subject is therefore paradoxical, at once they ‘return’ and make their apparitional debut.


Derrida has been pleased to call this dual movement of return and inauguration a ‘hauntology’, a coinage that suggests a spectrally deferred non-origin within grounding metaphysical terms such as history and identity. . . .

デリダは、歴史とアイデンティティーのような形而上学的な用語を根底に置いてスペクトル的に延期された非起源を示唆する造語である、帰還と就任のこの二重の動きを「hauntology」と呼ぶことを喜んでいる。 。 。 。

Such an idea also informs the well-known discussion of the origin of language in Of Grammatology, where . . . any attempt to isolate the origin of language will find its inaugural moment already dependent upon a system of linguistic differences that have been installed prior to the ‘originary’ moment .

このような考え方は、文法学の言語の起源に関するよく知られた議論にもつながっています。 。 。言語の起源を切り離そうとする試みは、その起源の瞬間に先立ってインストールされた言語的差異のシステムにすでに依存している。

Critical applicationsクリティカルなアプリケーション

Derrida’s writing in Spectres is marked by a preoccupation with the “death” of communism after the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union, in particular after theorists such as Francis Fukuyama asserted that capitalism had conclusively triumphed over other political-economic systems and reached the “end of history”


Taking inspiration from the pervasive ghost imagery in Marx’s writing, Spectres has been said[by whom?] to concern itself with the question, “if communism was always spectral, what does it mean to say it is now dead?”Contemporary writers such as theorist Mark Fisher specifically used the concept of hauntology to describe a sense in which contemporary culture is haunted by the “lost futures” of modernity which were purportedly cancelled in postmodernity and neoliberalism.Hauntology has been described as a “pining for a future that never arrived;” in contrast to the nostalgia and revivalism which dominate postmodernity, hauntological art and culture is typified by a critical foregrounding of the historical and metaphysical disjunctions of contemporary capitalist culture as well as a “refusal to give up on the desire for the future.



“Fisher and others drew attention to the shift into post-Fordist economies in the late 1970s, which Fisher argues has “gradually and systematically deprived artists of the resources necessary to produce the new.”


Hauntology has been used as a critical lens in various forms of media and theory, including music, political theory, architecture, Afrofuturism, and psychoanalysis.



Hypnagogic popcultural memory催眠術のポップカルチャーメモリ

Derrida’s concept of hauntology is most prominently applied to a segment of 21st-century musicians exploring ideas related to temporal disjunction, retrofuturism, cultural memory, and the persistence of the past. Common reference points in hauntological music include vintage analog synthesisers and cassette tapes, library music, old science-fiction and pulp horror programmes (including the soundtracks of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop), musique concrète and found sounds, dub and English psychedelia, and 1970s public informational films. A common element is the foregrounding of the recording surface noise, including the crackle and hiss of vinyl and tape, calling attention to the decaying medium itself.


Artists associated with hauntology include members of the UK label Ghost Box (such as Belbury Poly, The Focus Group, and the Advisory Circle), London dubstep producer Burial, electronic musicians such as the Caretaker, William Basinski, Philip Jeck, Aseptic Void, Moon Wiring Club and Mordant Music. Early progenitors of the approach include Boards of Canada and Position Normal.

hauntology学に関連するアーティストには、英国のレーベルGhost Box(Belbury Poly、The Focus Group、Advisory Circleなど)、London dubstep producer Burial、Caretaker、William Basinski、Philip Jeck、Aseptic Void、Moonなどのエレクトロニックミュージシャンワイヤリングクラブとモーダントミュージック。このアプローチの初期の先駆者には、カナダのBoardsとPosition Normalがあります。

According to Mark Fisher, the hauntology movement represents contemporary electronic music’s “confrontation with a cultural impasse: the failure of the future.” Hauntological music is identified with British culture, and was described as an attempt to evoke “a nostalgia for a future that never came to pass, with a vision of a strange, alternate Britain, constituted from the reorder refuse of the postwar period.” Music journalist Simon Reynolds described it as an attempt to construct a “lost utopianism” rooted in visions of a benevolent post-welfare state. A sense of loss and bereavement is central to the phenomenon, according to theologist Johan Reddebo.

Mark Fisherによると、hauntology学の動きは、現代のエレクトロニックミュージックの「文化的窮状との対立:未来の失敗」を表している。音楽は英国の文化と一致しており、「決して忘れられない未来へのノスタルジア戦後の再注文拒否から構成された、奇妙で代替的な英国のビジョンを持つようになった」音楽ジャーナリストのサイモン・レイノルズは、慈悲深い福祉国家のビジョンに根ざした「迷いのユートピア主義」を構築しようとしていると述べた。神学者のヨハン・レデュボ(Johan Reddebo)によれば、この現象の中心的要素は失われていることです。

Hypnagogic pop is described as an American “cousin” to hauntology and is also known to engage with notions of nostalgia and cultural memory. The two styles were likened[by whom?] to “sonic fictions or intentional forgeries, creating half-baked memories of things that never were—approximating the imprecise nature of memory itself.”



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