Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression (Religion and Postmodernism)

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9780226143675: Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression (Religion and Postmodernism)
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In Archive Fever, Jacques Derrida deftly guides us through an extended meditation on remembrance, religion, time, and technology—fruitfully occasioned by a deconstructive analysis of the notion of archiving. Intrigued by the evocative relationship between technologies of inscription and psychic processes, Derrida offers for the first time a major statement on the pervasive impact of electronic media, particularly e-mail, which threaten to transform the entire public and private space of humanity. Plying this rich material with characteristic virtuosity, Derrida constructs a synergistic reading of archives and archiving, both provocative and compelling.

"Judaic mythos, Freudian psychoanalysis, and e-mail all get fused into another staggeringly dense, brilliant slab of scholarship and suggestion."—The Guardian

"[Derrida] convincingly argues that, although the archive is a public entity, it nevertheless is the repository of the private and personal, including even intimate details."—Choice

"Beautifully written and clear."—Jeremy Barris, Philosophy in Review

"Translator Prenowitz has managed valiantly to bring into English a difficult but inspiring text that relies on Greek, German, and their translations into French."—Library Journal

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From the Back Cover:

In his latest work, Jacques Derrida deftly guides us through an extended meditation on remembrance, religion, time, and technology - all fruitfully occasioned by a deconstructive analysis of the notion of archiving. The archival concept has of late played a pivotal role in critical debate. A place of origin, yet of perpetuity, a place of stasis and order, yet of discovery, the notion of archive houses a fascinating complex of diverse, and often disparate, meanings. As a depository of civic record and social history whose very name derives from the Greek word for town hall, the archive would seem to be a public entity, yet it is stocked with the personal, even intimate, artifacts of private lives. It is this inherent tension between public and private which inaugurates, for Derrida, an inquiry into the human impulse to preserve, through technology as well as tradition, both a historical and a psychic past. What emerges is a marvelous expansive work, engaging at once Judaic mythos, Freudian psychoanalysis, and Marxist materialism in a profound reflection on the real, the unreal, and the virtual. Intrigued by the evocative relationship between technologies of inscription and psychic processes, Derrida offers for the first time a major statement on the pervasive impact of electronic media, particularly e-mail, which threaten to transform the entire public and private space of humanity. Plying this rich material with characteristic virtuosity, Derrida constructs a synergistic reading of archives and archiving, both provocative and compelling.

About the Author:


Jacques Derrida (1930–2004) was director of studies at the école des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris, and professor of humanities at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of many books published by the University of Chicago Press.
 

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