chapter  5
17 Pages

The Gift and the Promise

Ambiguity in Khoratic Contracts
WithPiotr Spyra

Chapter 5 addresses the connections between liminality and the notion of the gift as understood by Jacques Derrida. Building on Derrida’s insights into the paradoxical nature of the gift, the argument explains how the fairies’ predilection for striking deals with mortals and presenting them with gifts follows directly from their liminality. The chapter provides a methodological framework for the study of the fairies’ rule-bound nature, their arbitrariness of action and their tendency to impose taboos on their human partners.