In his discussion of the possible link between Hegel's term Aufhebung and Martin Luther's translation of the Greek word katargein as used by Saint Paul, Giorgio Agamben points out the Russian connection—via Alexandre Kojève and Alexandre Koyré—and hence the connection to Russian apocalyptic thinking in the reception of Hegelianism in France. This connection, however, has been marked by a striking contrast in the vicissitudes of Hegel's term in Russia and in France. Its first aspect is the invisibility of the issue of translation in the Russian case and the French hypersensitivity to this issue, which has resulted in a proliferation of suggested translations and discussions up to and beyond Derrida. The second aspect becomes manifest in the transformation the translation undergoes from Kojève to his self-professed disciple, Lacan. Kojève's “taking down” becomes “raising up” with Lacan, who, furthermore, inscribes this silent reversal in his theory of sexuation. It is the curious twist from apocalypse to sexual difference that the article addresses, moving from Alain Badiou's early views on dialectics to the groundbreaking debate on sexual difference between Judith Butler and Joan Copjec.

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