This collection of essays explores the main concepts and methods of reading launched by French philosopher Jacques Derrida who died in 2004. Derrida exerted a huge influence on literary critics in the 1980s, but later there was a backlash against his theories. Today, one witnesses a general return to his way of reading literature, the rationale of which is detailed and explained in the essays. The authors, both well-known and younger specialists, give many precise examples of how Derrida, who always remained at the cusp between literature and philosophy, posed fundamental questions and thus changed the field of literary criticism, especially with regard to poetry. The contributors also highlight the way Derrida made spectacular interventions in feminism, psychoanalytic studies, animal studies, digital humanities and post-colonial studies.
Jean-Michel Rabate was a student of Jacques Derrida at the Ecole Normale Superieure, and defended his dissertation under the supervision of Helene Cixous. Since 1992, he has been Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. He is one of the managing editors of the Journal of Modern Literature and a co-founder and senior curator of the Slought Foundation, Philadelphia. Since 2008, he has been a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of more than 35 books and collections of essays on modernism (Pound, Joyce, Beckett), the arts, and philosophy.
Introduction; Part I. Frames: 1. The instant of their debt: Derrida with Freud and Heidegger in Greece Vassiliki Kolocotroni; 2. Derrida and the psychoanalysis of culture Andrea Hurst; 3. Derrida and sexual difference Ginette Michaud; 4. Derrida queries De Man: a note on the materiality of the letter vs the violence of the letter Martin Mcquillan; Part II. Focus: 5. Derrida as literary reader Derek Attridge; 6. Broken singularities (Derrida and Celan) Joshua Schuster; 7. Derrida and the essence of poetry Yue Zhuo; 8. From Mallarme to the event: Badiou after Derrida Laurent Milesi; Part III. Futures: 9. Ecce Animot: animal turns Jane Goldman; 10. Deconstruction, collectivity, and world literature Jen Hui Bon Hoa; 11. Literature calls justice: deconstruction's 'coming-to-terms' with literature Elisabeth Weber; 12. The documental revolution and the archives of the future Maurizio Ferraris.