IN THE SINGULARITY OF LITERATURE, Derek Attridge writes that ‘otherness’ only makes sense in relation to what is known,

The other can emerge only as a version of the familiar, strangely lit, refracted, self-distanced. It arises from the intimate recesses of the cultural web that constitutes subjectivity, which is to say it arises as much from within the subject as from outside it.1

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Attridge’s discussion of otherness is primarily literary: he is occupied with the issue of what makes literature ‘singular’. In particular, the above passage explores how an artist brings the otherness of an artwork into being, the ways in which he or she converses with it and calls it forth. To invoke otherness, according to Attridge, is also to draw upon aspects of the self: literary creation ‘blurs the distinction between that which is...

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