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Of Grammatology Paperback – Jan 8 1998

3.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Hopkins Fulfillment Service; Corr edition (Jan. 8 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801858305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801858307
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 599 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #67,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


The translation is a noble job, and we should be grateful to have this distinguished book in our hands... [Spivak's] situating of Derrida among his precursors-Nietzsche, Freud, Heidegger, Husserl-and contemporaries-Lacan, Foucault, and the elusive animal known as structuralism-is very lucid and extremely useful. -- Michael Wood New York Review of Books The tool-kit for anyone who wants to empty the 'presence' out of any text he has taken a dislike to. A handy arsenal of deconstructive tools are to be found in its pages, and the technique, once learnt, is as simple, and as destructive, as leaving a bomb in a brown paper bag outside (or inside) a pub. -- Roger Poole Notes and Queries There is cause for rejoicing in the translation of De la grammatologie... Just as Derrida discloses in Rousseau a writer who distrusts writing and longs for the proximity of the self to its voice, so Spivak approaches Derrida through the structure of his diction; no ideas but in the words themselves. -- Denis Donoghue New Republic Reading Derrida was the shock of a decentering, the critical shift into a world of the interminable movement of difference, the crisis of any closure. Of Grammatology was and remains the most tightly worked... and exemplary... demonstration of the science of this shift and crisis. Canto

About the Author

Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) taught at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University.

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Format: Paperback
This volume is central to Derrida's project and is, perhaps, his single most important work. In it, one finds the essentail contentions that inform his other essays. Whether one views, from the analytic tradition, these concepts as indulgent rubish or as culmination of a pre-Socratic force hidden under the ubiquitous effects of Plato and Aristotle, they are critical in understanding the disjunctions of philosophy.
While Derrida's writing may be difficult because it is both dense and playful, allusive and iconoclastic,these presentational "quirks" are not empty but tied to the basic structures of his argumentation.
Since its publication, popular characterizations of this book have attributed to it positions it does not hold. Derrida is, among his other gifts, a scholar of the first order and behind his statements are close readings of many of the philosphical greats that preceded his effort. This is not the babbling of the manic mind but a huge encounter with the dominant tradition of interpretation.
Such a gigantic target cannot be exhausted in one volume, but even if one wishes to affirm the analytic tradition, this volume should be read with the respect and care one gives a worthy enemy.
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Format: Paperback
Or, *Of Grammatology* As A Guide To Theoretical Criminology
Jacques Derrida's *Of Grammatology* is one of the most infamous theoretical works of recent decades: from its initial reception as a Rosetta Stone of a new literary history to Derrida's famous snubbing by Cambridge dons, it was reputed to be all kinds of mind-expanding. But although Derrida has settled into a more philosophical metier, the theory presented in this book has a character which is rarely remarked upon: in reality, it is all but a highly adequate theory of criminal investigation built upon the non-substantial character of the trace.
Traces of evidence are not exactly anything, including the intended meanings or effects of the words or actions which serve as the subject of judicial inquiry: and Derrida's ruminations upon Levi-Strauss, Saussure, and Rousseau -- concerning their "lines" with respect to the amount of structure which can be uncritically attributed to language at the popular, "unpopular", or personal level -- "desediment" a theory of language which relies heavily upon Freud's evocation of the magnetic-writing pad as metaphor for a "graphological" unconscious which brooks no imagistic guff. In this he is not very distant from Richard Montague's concern with "disambiguation" as a ground for linguistic meaning, but those who consider Derrida's work beyond the analytic pale have perhaps been snookered by theories of linguistic meaning which assume that institutions forming an integral part of language must not play any significant role in the formulation of a theory of meaning.
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Format: Paperback
How long can a philosophical movement last before it exhausts its methodology and goals? Does it take decades or centuries, or maybe even thousands of years? A more appropriate question might be: how long can philosophy itself last before it is labeled as superfluous and subjected to the questioneering of an impatient and caustic interlocutor? Philosophy is usually presented as a conglomeration of schools of thought, each of these having a well-defined set of tools for investigating ultimate foundations of truth and reason. Its practitioners have been guarded in their systemization. Criticizing each other vociferously, they all agree though that philosophy has intrinsic worth and should be sustained. After all, philosophy sets the foundation for science, ethics, art, culture, and politics. To end it would pull the rug out that lies underneath the table of civilization. To end philosophical discourse would make us all hopeless wanderers with no discernable direction or purpose.
A colleague once told me that this book should be read as a reaction against French structuralism. This may be true, but I see it as a literary project to indulge in the excesses of Nietzschean/Dionysian ecstacy. It is an attempt to take a break from philosophy, to put on oversized white shirts and with a sloppy oil paintbrush, disfigure the classical works of Western philosophy. It is, to quote the translator of the book, an attempt to become "intoxicated at the prospect of never hitting bottom". The movement of deconstruction reacts against the stealth of the philosophers, who try to cover their literary tracks. Deconstruction exposes the so-called solidity of philosophical texts, exposing the hierarchies they construct as fragile, and removing them with delight.
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By A Customer on Jan. 14 2003
Format: Paperback
Jacuqes Derrida, like many of his cacique clique, had what I would call a conditional aura of possible brilliance. Similar to what can be found around the works of his contemporaries such as Foucault,Lacan or Barthes, Derrida is only brilliant, only mind-numbing if you believe in, and follow the structure that he has created for you. This was a similar form in the writings of Foucault, his ideas of knowledge/power/discourse/domination, while attractive when you're hope is to jingoistically numb and verbally gibberish language til the point where you have philosophically altered all beyond repair control or hope of restoration, and then can claim to of attained a hidden or shourded apex of monumental brilliance through the elite code speak which you just created, facilitated and were a willing participant to.
In other words, Derrida is only as smart as you think he is. Regardless of what any number of critics proclaim, he, just like all like him (including Barthes) fall into the traps which Barthes so proudly outlined in his Myths texts. The problem with each philosophes of this mettle is that they claim a strucutre, while consistently creating their own around this unknown and unfathomable structure. This is best exemplefied through the Derridian claim that speech and writing belong to the same form of communication he terms "arche-writing." This is mind blowing if you follow his logic and play the game within the rules he deans you. However in any other discipline on any other field with different rules, his logic is as flawed as his hairstyle.
My favorite deconstruction of Derrida is a post-colonial one, which I don't think anyone has really made yet (at least to my satisfaction).
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