The spectre is something that is not present, not real, not there, but that nonetheless enters into (and disrupts the closure and self-presence of) whatever is present, real, and there. The ghost addresses us, interrogates us with its voice and its gaze; it’s a call from Otherness to which we must respond, even though we are unable to adequately respond.

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We cannot ever simply separate the relevant from the irrelevant, or the living from the dead. The uncanny apparition of the spectre forbids us to make so neat a separation. We are always haunted by ghosts, and we cannot freely choose what we will be haunted by. We have the responsibility of making such a separation, without the ability neatly and definitively to do so.