Start Submission

Reading: ‘I wouldn’t trust no words written down on no piece of paper’: Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man, Jacq...

Download

A- A+
Alt. Display

Articles

‘I wouldn’t trust no words written down on no piece of paper’: Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man, Jacques Derrida and the Critique of Logocentrism

Author:

Evelina Kazakeviciute

Cardiff University, School of Journalism, Media and Culture, GB
About Evelina

Evelina Kazakeviciute is a PhD student in the School of Journalism, Media and Culture (JOMEC) at Cardiff University. Her thesis is entitled ‘The Poststructuralist Conception of Communication as Reflected in Jim Jarmusch’s Films’. She is the Coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Film and Visual Culture Research (IFVCR) Network and an editor of JOMEC Journal. Her areas of interest are communication theory, the philosophy of communication, poststructuralism, and film.

X close

Abstract

In this article, I propose a reading of Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man (1995) in light of Jacques Derrida’s observations on the axiological binary opposition of speech and writing. I argue that the relationship between the two is artistically explored in the opening scene where the accountant William Blake (Johnny Depp) meets the fireman (Crispin Glover) on the train to the town of Machine. I interpret Depp’s protagonist as the representative of writing and Glover’s fireman as the representative of speech. Demonstrating how the attributes that, through the long history of Western metaphysics, have been ascribed to writing are manifested by the main character of the film, I analyse a subtle personification of the written word on screen. I contend that Dead Man is a deconstructive text not only because it deconstructs the genre of the Western and the narrative of the West but also in the sense that it offers a critique of logocentrism and Western metaphysics.

How to Cite: Kazakeviciute, E., 2019. ‘I wouldn’t trust no words written down on no piece of paper’: Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man, Jacques Derrida and the Critique of Logocentrism. JOMEC Journal, (13), pp.70–92. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/jomec.184
31
Views
10
Downloads
Published on 04 Feb 2019.
Peer Reviewed

Downloads

  • PDF (EN)