Jacques Derrida (Religion and Postmodernism)

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9780226042619: Jacques Derrida (Religion and Postmodernism)
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This extraordinary book offers a clear and compelling biography of Jacques Derrida along with one of Derrida's strangest and most unexpected texts. Geoffrey Bennington's account of Derrida leads the reader through the philosopher's familiar yet widely misunderstood work on language and writing to the less familiar themes of signature, sexual difference, law, and affirmation. In an unusual and unprecedented "dialogue," Derrida responds to Bennington's text by interweaving Bennington's text with surprising and disruptive "periphrases." Truly original, this dual and dueling text opens new dimensions in Derrida's thought and work.

"Bennington is a shrewd and well-informed commentator whose book should do something to convince the skeptics . . . that Jacques Derrida's work merits serious attention."—Christopher Norris, New Statesman & Society

"Geoffrey Bennington and Jacques Derrida have presented a fascinating example of what might be called post-structuralist autobiography."—Laurie Volpe, French Review

"Bennington's account of what Derrida is up to is better in almost all respects—more intelligent, more plausible, more readable, and less pretentious—than any other I have read."—Richard Rorty, Contemporary Literature

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From the Back Cover:

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 previously 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, Bennington's text might have originally intended or pretended, this dual text opens new dimensions in the philosopher's thought and work and extends its challenge.

About the Author:

Geoffrey Bennington is the Asa G. Candler Professor of Modern French Thought at Emory University. He is the author of several books on Derrida and translator of many others by him, and he is coeditor of The Seminars of Jacques Derrida series. 

Geoffrey Bennington is the Asa G. Candler Professor of Modern French Thought at Emory University. He is the author of several books on Derrida and translator of many others by him, and he is coeditor of The Seminars of Jacques Derrida series. 

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9780226042626: Jacques Derrida (Religion and Postmodernism)

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ISBN 10: 0226042626 ISBN 13: 9780226042626
Publisher: University of Chicago Press, 1999
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