The Impossible Mourning of Jacques Derrida

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9780826490353: The Impossible Mourning of Jacques Derrida
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At the time of his death in 2004, Jacques Derrida was arguably the most influential and the most controversial thinker in contemporary philosophy. But how does one respond to the death of Jacques Derrida? How does one mourn for Derrida, who spent thirty years warning of the dangers of mourning, while insisting that mourning is both unavoidable and impossible? In this original and engaging response to Derrida's death, Sean Gaston re-examines his own relationship with this great thinker and traces his own mourning, while examining the very nature of mourning in Derrida's work. Written in the immediate aftermath of Derrida's death, this insightful and touching account offers a fresh analysis of a vital element of Derrida's thought and a genuine reflection on the implications of Derrida's death for how we will now address his work.

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About the Author:

Sean Gaston is Reader in English at Brunel University, UK.

Review:

'As I closed the book I came across Derrida's last letter to me ... As I stared at the envelope with Derrida's signature on the upper left hand corner and at my own name and address in his handwriting, and read the short gracious letter again, I thought, what I am feeling now - reading the traces of one who has just died - this was what Derrida meant by writing ... There and not there. Still here and, already, not here.' - Sean Gaston, After Derrida

"A sincere enactment of what Derrida practiced: turning what we read into writing ... When you finish this book you are left wanting more ... The book is a loving, respectful and deeply scholarly goodbye through practicing what the teacher taught." -Gerry Coulter, Professor of Sociology, Bishop's University, Canada in the Canadian Journal of Sociology Online (Gerry Coulter, Professor of Sociology, Bishop's University, Canada in the Canadian Journal of Sociology Online)

"Sean Gaston's The Impossible Mourning of Jacques Derrida, written during the ten weeks after Derrida's death, takes the form of a philosophical journal containing daily entries (although not without gaps) which see the author struggling to respond to the question of mourning, both in relation to Derrida's passing and in regard to the intricately knotted threads in Derrida's own thought which tie philosophy to mourning and death...The final words, upon which the book's end equivocates, stopping without coming to a full stop, begin by recalling the sense of disbelief that accompanies Derrida's own dream about hearing news of his father's death. Here, at last, Gaston struggles with what is impossible about death's in-finitude, that which always and yet never punctuates once and for all:
And then it just stops,
And never stops,
StoppingIn every sense, this book discomposed me." —Simon Morgan Wortham, University of Portsmouth, Symploke, Vol. 15.1/2, 2008 (Simon Morgan Wortham)

"Speaking of the irreducible unbridgeable gap left behind by the death of French philosopher-theorist Jacques Derrida in October 2004, in the opening remarks to this book, Gaston asks, 'How does one respond to the death of Jacques Derrida? How does one mourn for Derrida, who warned of the dangers of mourning (as idealization and interiorisation), while insisting that mourning is, both unavoidable and impossible?' (25) His answer to this (of course) impossible question, laid bare in a philosophical diary of 52 days following Derrida's funeral, involves a detailed re-examination of his own Derridean inheritance. It is, at the same time, an examination of the very nature of mourning and an exploration of the gap(s) (écartes) and the history of the gap in Derrida's work...Gaston's book is highly personal (and painful), challenging and complex work which despite a style eerily reminiscent of the master, and a notable lack of any criticism of the great man as such, still manages to avoid the monu-memorialisation of Jacques Derrida he so feared, and to offer even the initiated something new. As Gaston quotes approvingly in the course of the book, 'To write is always to rave, a little' (75), which can mean to show signs of madness, talking 'wildly, furiously, deliriously', or to be 'infatuated, laudatory, enthusiastic', to wander, stray, tear, pry, poke; Gaston does all of these things after Derrida and is to be applauded for it." —Sally Hart, Philosophy in Review

"A sincere enactment of what Derrida practiced: turning what we read into writing ... When you finish this book you are left wanting more ... The book is a loving, respectful and deeply scholarly goodbye through practicing what the teacher taught." -Gerry Coulter, Professor of Sociology, Bishop's University, Canada in the Canadian Journal of Sociology Online (Sanford Lakoff)

"Sean Gaston's The Impossible Mourning of Jacques Derrida, written during the ten weeks after Derrida's death, takes the form of a philosophical journal containing daily entries (although not without gaps) which see the author struggling to respond to the question of mourning, both in relation to Derrida's passing and in regard to the intricately knotted threads in Derrida's own thought which tie philosophy to mourning and death...The final words, upon which the book's end equivocates, stopping without coming to a full stop, begin by recalling the sense of disbelief that accompanies Derrida's own dream about hearing news of his father's death. Here, at last, Gaston struggles with what is impossible about death's in-finitude, that which always and yet never punctuates once and for all:
And then it just stops,
And never stops,
StoppingIn every sense, this book discomposed me." —Simon Morgan Wortham, University of Portsmouth, Symploke, Vol. 15.1/2, 2008 (Sanford Lakoff)

“Speaking of the irreducible unbridgeable gap left behind by the death of French philosopher-theorist Jacques Derrida in October 2004, in the opening remarks to this book, Gaston asks, 'How does one respond to the death of Jacques Derrida? How does one mourn for Derrida, who warned of the dangers of mourning (as idealization and interiorisation), while insisting that mourning is, both unavoidable and impossible?’ (25) His answer to this (of course) impossible question, laid bare in a philosophical diary of 52 days following Derrida’s funeral, involves a detailed re-examination of his own Derridean inheritance. It is, at the same time, an examination of the very nature of mourning and an exploration of the gap(s) (écartes) and the history of the gap in Derrida’s work...Gaston’s book is highly personal (and painful), challenging and complex work which despite a style eerily reminiscent of the master, and a notable lack of any criticism of the great man as such, still manages to avoid the monu-memorialisation of Jacques Derrida he so feared, and to offer even the initiated something new. As Gaston quotes approvingly in the course of the book, 'To write is always to rave, a little’ (75), which can mean to show signs of madness, talking 'wildly, furiously, deliriously’, or to be 'infatuated, laudatory, enthusiastic’, to wander, stray, tear, pry, poke; Gaston does all of these things after Derrida and is to be applauded for it.” –Sally Hart, Philosophy in Review

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom, 2006. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. At the time of his death in 2004, Jacques Derrida was arguably the most influential and controversial thinker in contemporary philosophy. But how does one respond to the death of Derrida? How does one mourn for Derrida, who spent thirty years warning of the dangers of mourning, while insisting that mourning is both unavoidable and impossible? The Impossible Mourning of Jacques Derrida was written in the first two months after Derrida s death. In this original and engaging response, Sean Gaston re-examines his own relationship with this great thinker and traces his own mourning, while examining the very nature of mourning in Derrida s work. In exploring the gap that the death of Derrida has left open, Gaston traces the gaps (ecarts), and the history of the gap, in Derrida s work. He argues that the inescapable gaps that cannot be bridged play a central role in Derrida s thought and in our response to his death. In tracing the ecarts in Derrida s work, Gaston also takes in Plato, Hegel, Descartes, Kant, Husserl, Heidegger, Levinas and Lyotard. The book explores how, after the death of Derrida, we think of him in a history of philosophy and asserts the importance not only of literature, but also of history in Derrida s thought. Written in the immediate aftermath of Derrida s death, this insightful and touching account offers a fresh analysis of a vital element of Derrida s thought and a genuine reflection on the implications of Derrida s death for how we will now address his work. Seller Inventory # APC9780826490353

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom, 2006. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.At the time of his death in 2004, Jacques Derrida was arguably the most influential and controversial thinker in contemporary philosophy. But how does one respond to the death of Derrida? How does one mourn for Derrida, who spent thirty years warning of the dangers of mourning, while insisting that mourning is both unavoidable and impossible? The Impossible Mourning of Jacques Derrida was written in the first two months after Derrida s death. In this original and engaging response, Sean Gaston re-examines his own relationship with this great thinker and traces his own mourning, while examining the very nature of mourning in Derrida s work. In exploring the gap that the death of Derrida has left open, Gaston traces the gaps (ecarts), and the history of the gap, in Derrida s work. He argues that the inescapable gaps that cannot be bridged play a central role in Derrida s thought and in our response to his death. In tracing the ecarts in Derrida s work, Gaston also takes in Plato, Hegel, Descartes, Kant, Husserl, Heidegger, Levinas and Lyotard. The book explores how, after the death of Derrida, we think of him in a history of philosophy and asserts the importance not only of literature, but also of history in Derrida s thought. Written in the immediate aftermath of Derrida s death, this insightful and touching account offers a fresh analysis of a vital element of Derrida s thought and a genuine reflection on the implications of Derrida s death for how we will now address his work. Seller Inventory # APC9780826490353

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