Literature

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Jacques Derrida confesses to have been interested as a young man primarily in literature rather than philosophy. The literature opposition excludes by the dominating metaphysical ambitions of philosophical discourse. However, in the end, Derrida works time and again to thematise literature not as philosophy’s excluded binary opposite, but as a rival mode of theoretical engagement: literature as philosophy’s secret partner and enabler. Derrida’s conception of literature is a distinctly modern and Western one, tied to the political rise of European democracies in the nineteenth-century. And for Derrida, literature avant-garde Western literature of the modernist era takes both its form and content from that kind of necessary hesitation. He writes voluminously about literature throughout his career, and his work was first received into the English-speaking academy primarily as a kind of literary criticism, before deconstruction’s disciplinary identity as a philosophical discourse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationJacques Derrida
Subtitle of host publicationKey Concepts
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages139-143
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781317592655
ISBN (Print)9781844655892
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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    Nealon, J. T. (2014). Literature. In Jacques Derrida: Key Concepts (pp. 139-143). Taylor and Francis. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315744612-16