• Edmund ChapmanEmail author


This chapter shows why Benjamin’s and Derrida’s concepts of ‘afterlife’ or ‘survival’ should be understood as ‘overliving’, a process of continual translation. Beginning with Benjamin’s and Derrida’s ideas of translatability—a condition which, following Derrida, is innate to what a text is—the chapter turns to Benjamin’s and Derrida’s understandings of history to show that not only are texts always filled with the potential for translation, they are continually enacting this potential—that is, texts are continually in translation. The chapter concludes by considering how we might situate this understanding of textual ‘life’ in relation to other types of ‘life’, from the ‘life’ of language to biological life.


Afterlife Walter Benjamin Jacques Derrida Translation Life 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ManchesterManchesterUK

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