Someone called Jacques Derrida, someone called him on the phone, someone who was dead -- this was August 22nd 1979. A mystery, he thought; but it is a mystery that began more than ten years earlier, in 1968, when Derrida, a philosopher, visits Oxford and there, before the very eyes of the Philosophy Sub-Faculty, he dies, several times. Murder, he thought. And so I shall investigate, and begin with a sign that the philosopher says he left within a book from the thirteenth century, a strange fortune-telling book that he had found in the oldest part of Oxford's Bodleian Library. In the book are a host of cryptic questions, but the philosopher directs us to one in particular, a peculiar question about a boy, and the question is this: Does the boy live? The philosopher will not, though, give the answer; he requires, instead, that we go to Oxford to open the book for ourselves.
John Schad is Professor of Modern Literature at Loughborough University. He is the author of The Reader in the Dickensian Mirrors and Victorians in Theory, the editor of Dickens Refigured, Thomas Hardy's A Laodicean, and Writing the Bodies of Christ; and co-editor of life.after.theory. He is currently completing a book on Clough.
'Si puer vivet'; A Sleep of Prisoners; XX; Silences; Freiburg; Esther; "They Weren't Really You Know"; The House; Stolen Evening; High Places; Fast Cars; Secret Marriage; Hastings; Sacrifice; Elijah; Index.