Thursday, April 12, 2007
(11:33 PM) | Amish Lovelock:
HospitalityWhat if the question of infinite and unconditional altruism in the name of hospitality is unbearable for the Other? Unbearable because it asks nothing of them. It requires them to remain Other, always. To be the, albeit not simply accepted (their host too, for them, is a potential threat), accepted nonetheless. The total capacity of the hospitable to accept unconditionally - to be control of the house - is never brought into question because it is a necessary condition for the unconditionality of hospitable ethics and responsibility.
But what if this isn't ethics at all, just a front that enables the hospitable to continue to be masters of the house, in the name of ethics? What if hospitality allows them to avoid taking a very real kind of responsibility, one through which it is demanded of them that they see that it is their own out-of-jointness (ironically the very dimension which becomes the driving force for their fantasies of control over the house) - that it is this incoherence and lack of completeness that is in fact the very element that opens them up to the internal alienness of the Other in the first instance?