Derrida and Autobiography

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About Jacques Derrida

Between Deleuze and Derrida. Derrida and Deconstruction. Derrida and the Political. Wittgenstein and Derrida.

Jacques Derrida

Economics, Culture and Social Theory. Recommend Documents. Derrida's World: Confronting Marx The Politics of Friendship Derrida's Religion Thoughtful Welcoming of the Other Conclusion: On the Future of Thinking Bibliography. Beginning with Derrida's early years in Algeria, Powell quickly moves to Derrida's intellectual development and the range of philosophical thought to which he is responding.

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Powell explores Derrida's writings in the context of his life and times, showing the continuity without reducing Derrida's complexities to simplified method or doctrine. Powell draws evidence from Derrida's texts, comments from colleagues and friends, and Derrida's own descriptions of his life garnered from published interviews.

Derrida: A Biography by Benoît Peeters

Since personal correspondence is not yet available, the biography lacks a private look into Derrida and instead presents him as a mystery. Much more revealing is the commentary on Derrida's oeuvre, his philosophical positions, and his response to other philosophers, both predecessors and contemporaries. The clarity of discussion of Derrida's philosophy makes this work quite accessible. The book has an unnecessary apologetic tone that reveals more about the author's milieu than Derrida's recognized importance to the discipline of philosophy.

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Derrida : The Documentary

Derrida's famous phrase, stated in Of Grammatology , that "there is nothing outside the text" sums up his approach. What texts refer to, what is "outside" them, is nothing but another text. If texts do not refer to the world then it is impossible to secure through language a foundation for meaning and truth. This requires a revision of what we mean by philosophical thinking.

It can no longer be seen as the search for foundations, but as the critical play with texts to resist any metaphysical drive of thought. Derrida applied deconstructive reading to a variety of texts, literary and philosophical.

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In Dissemination he offered subtle and complex readings of Plato and Mallarme. In works such as Margins of Philosophy and Writing and Difference he wrote on topics ranging from metaphor to theater. He refused, in a way similar to Nietzsche, to accept simple distinctions between philosophical and literary uses of language. Interestingly, his challenge to philosophy and his affirmation of the ambiguity of texts meant that his own work called for deconstruction.

Derrida's deconstructive strategy has implications for the study of literature. His contention was that the search for meaning, ideas, the author's intention, or truth in a text are misguided. What must be explored is the meanings that words have because of linguistic relations in the text.

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  • This opens up an infinite play of meaning possible with any text. Put differently, there is no one meaning to a text, its meaning is always open and strictly undecideable. Deconstruction requires the close readings of texts that highlight linguistic relations, particularly etymological ones, and relations between a text and other texts found in our culture without seeking to determine "the" meaning of the work. In short, it requires taking seriously "difference" and intertextuality. Derrida's work provoked the reconsideration of traditional problems and texts and suggested a strategy for reading. However, he did not offer a positive position but debunked metaphysic strains of thought found throughout Western philosophy and literature.

    His work had significant impact on philosophical and literary circles, particularly in France and the United States.

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