On Touching “The Beyond”

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What is the meaning, the sense of touching? What does it mean to be touched? How does one touch? In this article, I examine the concept of touching as an impossible touching of soul through drawing upon the writing of Jean-Luc Nancy and Jacques Derrida. In his voluminous text on Nancy’s thought, Derrida explores the concept of touching in relation to the soul through the notions of Psyche and incommensurable extension. My article develops this problem of the impossible touching of the intangible by focusing on elements within the related domains of flamenco music and the bullfight. The main questions that I pose are examined, in turn, through the exploration of three diverse spaces: extensions, soundings, and encounters. Throughout this development, Psyche “herself” is repeatedly staged as a refrain, a ritornello form that both reiterates and elaborates the central question of incommensurable extension.