A Derrida Dictionary

A Derrida Dictionary

by Niall Lucy
     
 

Derrida’s terminology is notoriously difficult for readers to understand, and indeed defining Derridean terms runs counter (in a sense) to the spirit of his intellectual project. However, A Derrida Dictionary can offer points of entry into Derrida’s complex and extensive works. From 'aporia' to 'yes', this Dictionary suggests ways into Derrida

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Overview

Derrida’s terminology is notoriously difficult for readers to understand, and indeed defining Derridean terms runs counter (in a sense) to the spirit of his intellectual project. However, A Derrida Dictionary can offer points of entry into Derrida’s complex and extensive works. From 'aporia' to 'yes', this Dictionary suggests ways into Derrida that show what is at stake in his work in the areas of justice, ethics, democracy, literature, philosophy, religion and how to live. It is a book not just about philosophy, but also about politics and pop music; a book which explains why deconstruction matters, and how Derrida can change the way you think.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Writing for fans of Dylan, Eastwood, Eminem, and Lou Reed, no less than for readers of Freud, Heidegger, and Nietzsche, Lucy catalogues the ways Derrida has rocked words to their alphabetic core. There is sharpness, wit, and high seriousness in every entry." Peggy Kamuf, University of Southern California

"Niall Lucy has written a witty, incisive, timely and highly topical dictionary that deftly characterizes the most important entries in Derrida's lexicon. The book is chock full of references to contemporary film, music and politics and spares us the tediousness of trying to formalize ideas whose very idea is that they cannot be formalized. In addition to making for an insightful read and a pleasurable ride, Lucy does a good job of redefining what a “dictionary” is supposed to mean. A saucy, sparkling success." John D. Caputo, Villanova University

"Lucy brings and ironic, iconoclastic, and earthy approach to his teask... Entries are cleverly focused so that major terms and concepts get full attention ... Lucy is unpretentious and plain speaking... This is a well worthwhile purchase for the library where Derrida comes as new and rather threatening to students." Reference Reviews

Library Journal
Anyone who has ever wandered through the labyrinthine textual halls of Derrida's writings will already know that the presence of meaning in his texts is undecidable and that reading them simply involves playing with spectral traces and marks. Unreadability marks both Derrida's own writing and the critical writing of his disciples, who seem to herald this unreadability as a badge of understanding. Lucy's little book is more primer than dictionary and will be helpful only to those who have already had some deep exposure to Derrida and his work. The entries are arranged alphabetically but, in typical Derridean fashion, refuse to offer clear definitions of the terms they examine. Thus the entry on deconstruction: "Deconstruction is not a `method' that can be `applied' to something with a view to deconstructing it." You could never tell this from the crowd of Derrida imitators who deconstruct everything from cereal boxes to the NFL. Lucy (English & philosophy, Murdoch Univ., Western Australia) offers brief essays on most of the important "non-concepts" found in Derrida's writings, from aporia to presence and writing. The absence of entries on Hegel, Husserl, and Marx is very strange given Derrida's admitted debt to the first two thinkers (his first book was on Husserl). Because it requires familiarity with Derrida's work, the book will be useful only to academic libraries.-Henry L. Carrigan Jr., Lancaster, PA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780631218432
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
02/23/2004
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.68(d)

Meet the Author

Niall Lucy teaches in English and Philosophy at Murdoch University. His previous books, which have been translated into several languages, are Debating Derrida (1995), Beyond Semiotics: Text, Culture and Technology (2001) and (for Blackwell) Postmodern Literary Theory: An Introduction (1997) and the accompanying Postmodern Literary Theory: An Anthology (2000). He is also editor of the Philosophy and Cultural Studies issue of Continuum (1998).

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