Jacques Derrida invites a reconsideration of the myth of Echo and Narcissus. Echo's voice translates and remediates Narcissus's beauty. In this “histoire d'amour,” it is the blind repeating of someone else's words which constitutes her voice. And this translating voice is hers, not merely a borrowing from Narcissus. Derek Jarman's Blue (1993) and the medium of film itself equally promise the power to mirror/echo the human, to translate sound and motion to the flat reflective surface of projection and to preserve voices in a sound track. At least two queer texts from the turn of the nineteenth century anticipate this Derridean “blind echo,” Oscar Wilde's prose poem “The Disciple” (1894) and Rainer Maria Rilke's “Narziß” (1913). Lou Andreas-Salomé, in “Der Mensch als Wieb” (1899), moreover, sees a double directionality of narcissism. All three insist that the surface on which Narcissus views his reflection and Echo's repetition are not an abject predication but rather the initiation of a relationship. Translation does not elide the différence between original and translation. Instead, it asks us to consider closely the surface which ensures that such différence will always be present.

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