Jacques Derrida

Front Cover
Routledge, 2003 - Literary Criticism - 185 pages
5 Reviews
In this entertaining and provocative introduction, Royle offers lucid explanations of various key ideas, including deconstruction, undecidability, iterability, difference, aporia, the pharmakon, the supplement, a new enlightenment, and the democracy to come. He also gives attention, however, to a range of less obvious key ideas, such as earthquakes, animals and animality, ghosts, monstrosity, the poematic, drugs, gifts, secrets, war, and mourning. Derrida is seen as an extraordinarily inventive thinker, as well as a brilliantly imaginative and often very funny writer. Other critical introductions tend to highlight the specifically philosophical nature and genealogy of his work. Royle's book proceeds in a new and different way, in particular by focusing on the crucial but strange place of literature in Derrida's writings. He thus provides an appreciation and understanding based on detailed reference to Derrida's texts, interwoven with close readings of such writers as Shakespeare, Coleridge, P.B. Shelley, Poe, Emily Bronte, Franz Kafka and Elizabeth Bowen. In doing so, he explores Derrida's consistent view that deconstruction is "a coming-to-terms with literature." He emphasizes the ways in which "literature," for Derrida, is indissociably bound up with other concerns, such as philosophy and psychoanalysis, politics and ethics, responsibility and justice, law and democracy.

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Review: Jacques Derrida (Routledge Critical Thinkers)

User Review  - Kathleen - Goodreads

This is a fantastic introduction to Derrida's thought. Royle doesn't spoon-feed you the "main ideas" in Derrida's works. Instead, he leads the reader in thinking through Derrida's ideas. It's ... Read full review

Review: Jacques Derrida (Routledge Critical Thinkers)

User Review  - AN - Goodreads

An exhilarating book, generously affording insightful etymologies of words in question along with a recourse to far-fetched yet accessible literary examples, Royle's stands among the best sources ever ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Nicholas Royle is Professor of English and American Studies at the University of Sussex. He is Joint Editor of the Oxford Literary Review and author of several influential texts. His recent publications include Deconstructions: A User's Guide and The Uncanny: An Introduction.