Discussing Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Derrida (1994) suggested that the ghost of Hamlet’s Father, with his proclamation “the time is out of joint”, is representative of time in general, and that it is doubtful that any time is not out of joint. For Derrida, this apparition is emblematic of the deconstructive view of time that questions “a general temporality made up of the successive linking of presents identical to themselves and contemporary with themsel...
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...litical and ethical purposes: “For Derrida, the ghost’s secret is not a puzzle to be solved; it is the structural opening or address directed towards the living by the voices of the past or the not yet formulated possibilities of the future” (2005, 379). According to Davis, Derrida encourages scholars to engage with ghosts not because they may reveal a secret, but because such an engagement leads to the experience of secrecy: “[…] an essential unknowing that which underlies and may undermine what we think we know” (2007, 11). The implication of an ethnographic engagement with hauntology is that, beyond the categories of fiction and non-fiction, there is the possibility of a representation that maintains the integral secret of the other; that ethnographic texts, like the “others” they claim to represent, may float freely of prescribed temporalities and other borders.
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