To Follow: The Wake of Jacques Derrida

To Follow: The Wake of Jacques Derrida

To Follow: The Wake of Jacques Derrida

To Follow: The Wake of Jacques Derrida

Synopsis

This book collects ten years of Peggy Kamuf's writing on the work and friendship of Jacques Derrida. The majority of the chapters discuss a key aspect of Derrida's thought, either from a single work or across several texts. Kamuf engages with a broad array of his work, from the 1960s to the posthumous publication of his teaching seminars. She also considers press interviews and the collaboration on a film. These close readings are punctuated by brief recollections from their long friendship.The chapters trace a reflection that undergoes the sudden event of Derrida's death. Rather than take this interruption as its premise, however, the book sets out from Derrida's own teaching that mourning begins with friendship and not just at the death of the friend. Thus, the strict chronology of the chapters, from 2000 to 2010, highlights a general illusion of 'before' and 'after' that comes undone over the course of the sequence.

Excerpt

Since its inception, Theory has been concerned with its own limits, ends and after-life. It would be an illusion to imagine that the academy is no longer resistant to Theory but a significant consensus has been established and it can be said that Theory has now entered the mainstream of the humanities. Reaction against Theory is now a minority view and new generations of scholars have grown up with Theory. This leaves so-called Theory in an interesting position which its own procedures of auto-critique need to consider: what is the nature of this mainstream Theory and what is the relation of Theory to philosophy and the other disciplines which inform it? What is the history of its construction and what processes of amnesia and the repression of difference have taken place to establish this thing called Theory? Is Theory still the site of a more-than-critical affirmation of a negotiation with thought, which thinks thought’s own limits?

“Theory” is a name that traps by an aberrant nomial effect the transformative critique which seeks to reinscribe the conditions of thought in an inaugural founding gesture that is without ground or precedent: as a “name,” a word and a concept, Theory arrests or misprisions such thinking. To imagine the frontiers of Theory is not to dismiss or to abandon Theory (on the contrary one must always insist on the itis-necessary of Theory even if one has given up belief in theories of all kinds). Rather, this series is concerned with the presentation of work which challenges complacency and continues the transformative work of critical thinking. It seeks to offer the very best of contemporary theoretical practice in the humanities, work which continues to push ever further the frontiers of what is accepted, including the name of Theory. in particular, it is interested in that work which involves the necessary endeavor of crossing disciplinary frontiers without dissolving the specificity of disciplines. Published by Edinburgh University Press, in the city of Enlightenment, this series promotes a certain closeness to that spirit:

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