The Gift a Present without Borders

Title and Dedication (GT, 91)

The title is a border in advance of the text, as is the work’s dedication. A border is thought as a line, with the trait of indivisibility that has the capacity to encompass.

Derrida’s analysis of the title makes us see that in the dividing and multiplying of its referents, it “delinearizes” itself as a border. This delinearization compromises both the “identity and indivisibility of the linear trait.” This raises the question as to what is a border once one of its main traits, i.e. continuous linearity, is no longer secure? What is the gift’s relationship to the border?

The gift will always be without borders, a gift that would let itself be contained in a determination and limited by the indivisibility of an identifiable trait would not be a gift, as it then becomes “prey to calculation and measure.”  A gift cannot be defined, nor can it have a trait, such as a border, that was itself indivisible. A gift that does not run over its borders would not be a gift. The gift should overrun the border, “toward the measureless and the excessive.”

The title as a border

The dedication as a border

Published by the Art & Theory Reading Group as part of the Art as Gift project