Geoffrey Bennington sets out here to write a systematic account of the thought of Jacques Derrida. Responding to Bennington's text at every turn is Derrida's own excerpts from his life and thought that, appearing at the bottom of each page, resist circumscription. Together these texts, as a dialogue and a contest, constitute a remarkably in-depth, critical introduction to one of the leading philosophers of the twentieth century and, at the same time, demonstrate the illusions inherent in such a project. Bennington's account of Derrida, broader in scope than any previously done, leads the reader through the philosopher's familiar yet still widely misunderstood work on language and writing to the less familiar and altogether more mysterious themes of signature, sexual difference, law, and affirmation. Seeking to escape this systematic rendering - in fact, to prove it impossible - Derrida interweaves Bennington's text with surprising and disruptive "periphrases": reflections on his mother's death agony, commentaries on St. Augustine's Confessions, memories of childhood, remarks on Judaism, and references to his collaborator's efforts. This extraordinary book offers, on the one hand, a clear and compelling account of one of the most difficult and important contemporary thinkers and, on the other, one of that thinker's strangest and most unexpected texts. Far from putting an end to the need to discuss Derrida, Bennington's text might have originally intended or pretended, this dual text opens new dimensions in the philosopher's thought and work and extends its challenge.
Bennington's account of what Derrida is up to is better in almost all respects—more intelligent, more plausible, more readable, and less pretentious—than any other I have read.
— Contemporary Literature
"This book presupposes a contract" Derridabase by Geoffrey Bennington
The Proper Name Circumfession by Jacques Derrida
Time and Finitude
The Mother: Chora
The Series: (Quasi-) Transcendental Questions
Being the Other
Envoi Acts (The Law of Genre)
Bibliography (including list of abbreviations of Derrida's works cited in text)