Reading and Responsibility: Deconstruction's Traces (The Frontiers of Theory)

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9780748643189: Reading and Responsibility: Deconstruction's Traces (The Frontiers of Theory)

What is the importance of deconstruction, and the writing of Jacques Derrida in particular, for literary criticism today? Derek Attridge argues that the challenge of Derrida's work for our understanding of literature and its value has still not been fully met, and in this book, which traces a close engagement with Derrida's writing over two decades and reflects an interest in that work going back a further two decades, shows how that work can illuminate a variety of topics.Chapters include an overview of deconstruction as a critical practice today, discussions of the secret, postcolonialism, ethics, literary criticism, jargon, fiction, and photography, and responses to the theoretical writing of Emmanuel Levinas, Roland Barthes, and J. Hillis Miller. Also included is a discussion of the recent reading of Derrida's philosophy as 'radical atheism', and the book ends with a conversation on deconstruction and place with the theorist and critic Jean-Michel Rabaté.Running throughout is a concern with the question of responsibility, as exemplified in Derrida's own readings of literary and philosophical texts: responsibility to the work being read, responsibility to the protocols of rational argument, and responsibility to the reader.

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About the Author:


Derek Attridge is Professor of English at the University of York.

Review:

This wonderful book admirably displays Derek Attridge's special gifts as a reader: clarity, learning, and penetrating understanding. It contains some of the best essays ever written about what is distinctive in Derrida's thinking. -- J. Hillis Miller, UCI Distinguished Research Professor of Comparative Literature and English, University of California at Irvine Over the past forty years, Derek Attridge has engaged, quite possibly more meticulously than anyone else, the work and thought of Jacques Derrida. In this book, he presents us with many of the richest fruits of that work of love. Through his abiding care for the working of language, he reminds us just how exacting, how adventurous, how serious and how deeply responsive Derrida could be to the words and potential meanings of others. That generosity, that hospitality, is something that Attridge himself now advances; and, by bringing Derrida into an encounter with thinkers and writers from the Renaissance to the contemporary world, he is able to make us feel the power and importance -- the profound responsibility -- of an attending to the words of others: it is, and becomes here, a matter of life and death, be it the life and death faced by Abraham and Isaac, the life and death of Derrida himself and of his friends, such as Levinas, or the life and death of cats at the mercy of humans. The stakes are always high; the writing always lucid; the demands of literature always exigent -- and this is what Attridge knows, and allows us to feel. In these crude and barbaric times, we are fortunate to be made aware, once again, of the importance of responsibility in our human encounters with others, with the world. -- Thomas Docherty, Professor of English and of Comparative Literature, University of Warwick This wonderful book admirably displays Derek Attridge's special gifts as a reader: clarity, learning, and penetrating understanding. It contains some of the best essays ever written about what is distinctive in Derrida's thinking. Over the past forty years, Derek Attridge has engaged, quite possibly more meticulously than anyone else, the work and thought of Jacques Derrida. In this book, he presents us with many of the richest fruits of that work of love. Through his abiding care for the working of language, he reminds us just how exacting, how adventurous, how serious and how deeply responsive Derrida could be to the words and potential meanings of others. That generosity, that hospitality, is something that Attridge himself now advances; and, by bringing Derrida into an encounter with thinkers and writers from the Renaissance to the contemporary world, he is able to make us feel the power and importance -- the profound responsibility -- of an attending to the words of others: it is, and becomes here, a matter of life and death, be it the life and death faced by Abraham and Isaac, the life and death of Derrida himself and of his friends, such as Levinas, or the life and death of cats at the mercy of humans. The stakes are always high; the writing always lucid; the demands of literature always exigent -- and this is what Attridge knows, and allows us to feel. In these crude and barbaric times, we are fortunate to be made aware, once again, of the importance of responsibility in our human encounters with others, with the world.

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Book Description EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY PRESS, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. What is the importance of deconstruction, and the writing of Jacques Derrida in particular, for literary criticism today? Derek Attridge argues that the challenge of Derrida s work for our understanding of literature and its value has still not been fully met, and in this book, which traces a close engagement with Derrida s writing over two decades and reflects an interest in that work going back a further two decades, shows how that work can illuminate a variety of topics. Chapters include an overview of deconstruction as a critical practice today, discussions of the secret, postcolonialism, ethics, literary criticism, jargon, fiction, and photography, and responses to the theoretical writing of Emmanuel Levinas, Roland Barthes, and J. Hillis Miller. Also included is a discussion of the recent reading of Derrida s philosophy as radical atheism , and the book ends with a conversation on deconstruction and place with the theorist and critic Jean-Michel Rabate. Running throughout is a concern with the question of responsibility, as exemplified in Derrida s own readings of literary and philosophical texts: responsibility to the work being read, responsibility to the protocols of rational argument, and responsibility to the reader. Bookseller Inventory # AA79780748643189

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Book Description EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY PRESS, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. What is the importance of deconstruction, and the writing of Jacques Derrida in particular, for literary criticism today? Derek Attridge argues that the challenge of Derrida s work for our understanding of literature and its value has still not been fully met, and in this book, which traces a close engagement with Derrida s writing over two decades and reflects an interest in that work going back a further two decades, shows how that work can illuminate a variety of topics. Chapters include an overview of deconstruction as a critical practice today, discussions of the secret, postcolonialism, ethics, literary criticism, jargon, fiction, and photography, and responses to the theoretical writing of Emmanuel Levinas, Roland Barthes, and J. Hillis Miller. Also included is a discussion of the recent reading of Derrida s philosophy as radical atheism , and the book ends with a conversation on deconstruction and place with the theorist and critic Jean-Michel Rabate. Running throughout is a concern with the question of responsibility, as exemplified in Derrida s own readings of literary and philosophical texts: responsibility to the work being read, responsibility to the protocols of rational argument, and responsibility to the reader. Bookseller Inventory # AA79780748643189

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