Derrida

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University of Chicago Press, May 1, 1993 - Biography & Autobiography - 417 pages
3 Reviews
Geoffrey Bennington sets out here to write a systematic account of the thought of Jacques Derrida. Responding to Bennington's text at every turn is Derrida's own, excerpts from his life and thought that, appearing at the bottom of each page, resist circumscription. Together these texts, as a dialogue and a contest, constitute a remarkably in-depth, critical introduction to one of the leading philosophers of the twentieth century and, at the same time, demonstrate the illusions inherent in such a project. Bennington's account of Derrida, broader in scope than any ever done, leads the reader through the philosopher's familiar yet still widely misunderstood work on language and writing to the less familiar and altogether more mysterious themes of signature, sexual difference, law, and affirmation. Seeking to escape this systematic rendering--in fact, to prove it impossible--Derrida interweaves Bennington's text with surprising and disruptive "periphrases": reflections on his mother's death agony, commentaries on St. Augustine's "Confessions," memories of childhood, remarks on Judaism, and references to his collaborator's efforts. This extraordinary book offers, on the one hand, a clear and compelling account of one of the most difficult and important contemporary thinkers, and, on the other, one of that thinker's strangest and most unexpected texts. Far from putting an end to the need to discuss Derrida, as Bennington's text might have pretended, this dual text opens new dimensions in the philosopher's thought and work and extends its challenge. Geoffrey Bennington, Professor of French literature at the University of Sussex, is the author, among other books, of "Lyotard: Writing theEvent" and cotranslator of Derrida's "Of Spirit: Heidegger and the Question" and "The Truth in Painting." Jacques Derrida is professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, and the author of numerous books. Among them, "Of Spirit," "The Truth in Painting," "The Post Card," and "Writing and Difference," are published by the University of Chicago Press.
  

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Review: Jacques Derrida

User Review  - Andrewhickey - Goodreads

I have only read some if Bennington's systematizing of Derrida, so I can't speak for that, but Derrida's Circumfession was an enthralling, emotional, and philosophically tortuous but exciting read ... Read full review

Review: Jacques Derrida

User Review  - William Durden - Goodreads

The Bennington discussion is certainly worthwhile, more in depth than other 'intro' pieces, but what makes this text essential in the Derrida canon is his own shockingly personal discussion of his ... Read full review

Contents

VIII
1
Remark
8
The Beginning
15
The Sign
23
Writing
42
Husserl
64
Differance
70
Context
84
Translation
166
Babel
174
The Gift
188
Sexual Difference
204
Femininity
212
Politics
228
The Title
241
by Jacques Derrida
268

Beyond
98
The Proper Name
104
Time and Finitude
114
Circumfession
120
The Unconscious
133
The Signature
148
Curriculum Vitae
325
Bibliography including list
355
Supplemental Bibliography
411
Illustration Sources
417
Copyright

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About the author (1993)

Geoffrey Bennington is Asa G. Candler Professor of Modern French Thought at Emory University. He is the author of a dozen books of philosophy and literary theory, and translator of work by contemporary French thinkers.

Jacques Derrida was born in El-Biar, Algeria on July 15, 1930. He graduated from the École Normal Supérieure in 1956. He taught philosophy and logic at both the University of Paris and the École Normal Supérieure for around 30 years. His works of philosophy and linguistics form the basis of the school of criticism known as deconstruction. This theory states that language is an inadequate method to give an unambiguous definition of a work, as the meaning of text can differ depending on reader, time, and context. During his lifetime, he wrote more than 40 books on various aspects of deconstruction including Of Grammatology, Glas, The Postcard: From Socrates to Freud and Beyond, and Ulysses Gramophone: Hear Say Yes in Joyce. He died of pancreatic cancer on October 9, 2004 at the age of 74.

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