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Copy, Archive, Signature: A Conversation on Photography Paperback – July 13, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press (July 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804760977
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804760973
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,123,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Behind Derrida's remarks on photography stands a vast philosophical knowledge, as well as a keen interest in contemporary media and technology. Richter's introduction admirably situates the discussion both with respect to Derrida's overall work and with reference to certain contemporary interpretations of photography. I can hardly imagine another discussion of photography that would display the same theoretical and philosophical breath and incisiveness that Derrida and his partners bring to bear on the subject."—Samuel Weber, European Graduate School

"The interview that composes this exquisite little book demonstrates again why Derrida remains one of our most cherished resources. Suggesting that we did not have to wait for the invention of photography to learn what it can teach us about memory, inscription, death, mourning, and even love—this is why he can associate the medium with thought in general—Derrida's meditations not only comprehend and anticipate recent developments in reproductive technologies, but they also tell us why we must remain today as concerned with photography's past and present as with its future."—Eduardo Cadava, Princeton University

About the Author

Jacques Derrida (1930–2004) was Director of Studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and Professor of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine. Among the most recent of his many books to have been translated into English are the two volumes of Psyche: Inventions of the Other (Stanford, 2007 and 2008). Gerhard Richter is Professor of German and Director of the Graduate Program in Critical Theory at the University of California, Davis. He is the author of Thought-Images: Frankfurt School Writers' Reflections from Damaged Life (Stanford, 2007). Jeff Fort is Assistant Professor of French at the University of California, Davis.

More About the Author

Jacques Derrida (1930-2004), was born in Algeria, has been called the most famous philosopher of our time. He was the author of a number of books, including Writing and Difference, which came to be seen as defining texts of postmodernist thought.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Fineman on September 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is a translation of a conversation between Derrida and two German theorists that transpired in 1992. The interchange itself is about 14000 words, very short. The book also contains a brief introduction and some notes with interesting bibliographic references. Derrida's questioners are smart and interesting, but this is fairly staccato, incomplete, and interrupted exchange. Still, the book makes a little clearer some of the muddled relations of deconstruction and photography found in "Right of inspection" (1989) and scattered in his writing. I wish we had more and better on this topic. I think you must be interested a great deal in this application of deconstruction to be willing to buy such an incomplete and slim volume. Still, as my title suggests, there are moments of great excitement here even if this work does not bring its various promises to fruition.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pandafilanda on January 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a pity! This interview is so fragmented by the waywardness of the interviewers that Derrida does not get the chance to elaborate on any of the topics posed to him. Almost nothing is said about the "archive", and photography is barely adressed as such. The "copy" topic is buffeted this way and that rather whimsically by the interviewers themselves, and barely nothing comes out of it. Though the text is labeled as an "interview", it feels more like a random "after dinner" conversation. Nice as such, but not quite anything. I guess Derrida must have been an awesome dinner companion, and in this book the reader may have a faint glimpse at his candid and generous enthusiasm, but even this is spoiled by the interviewers' desperate desire to stand out. I recommend this book only to those exhaustive Derrida scholars who must have every book featuring Derrida! Now I know there is a limit...
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