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Derrida Paperback – January 1, 1988

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (January 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674198247
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674198241
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,941,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Excellent...Norris displays a command of philosophy from Kant to the present...[and is] a major contemporary interpreter of deconstruction...Norris has succeeded admirably in presenting a careful, reliable, and very readable general introduction to the thought of Derrida. (Choice)

Norris organizes his book around Derrida's writings on Plato, Hegel, Saussure, Rousseau, Kant, Austin, Freud, and Foucault. He shows how Derrida reads the philosophers not as voices in historical time but as writers whose texts interact both in their own historical time and in the vertical time frame of reason and the dictionary...Norris has done what not even Derrida has been able to do very well; explain Derrida. (Thomas D'Evelyn Christian Science Monitor)

Derrida should continue to be read. And whether one initially classifies Derrida's work as 'literature' or as 'philosophy' is less important than that he be appreciated as the sort of writer whose originality forces us to throw away old taxonomies and come up with new ones. Norris' thoughtful book will help people appreciate that originality. (Richard Rorty New Leader)

A really fine account of Derrida's philosophical project...The prose is clear and jargon-free, unlike so many other books on Derrida...The book will be extremely useful to a wide range of readers. (David Hoy, University of California, Santa Cruz)

Norris writes a study that is at once a general introduction and an original contribution to a debate among specialists...Norris's discussion of Derrida's political and ethical dimension, setting the record straight in the face of the most damaging case against Derrida, is perhaps the most important contribution made to the international debate surrounding poststructuralism in any of Norris's published works. (Gregory Ulmer, University of Florida)

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Jewell on June 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
Norris offers an acute survey of Derrida's deconstructive project and tools. He also argues in Derrida's defense that American scholars who read Derrida as a proponent of a Barthe-like free-for-all are mistaken. The arguments are clear, and the text is relatively easy reading.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Martin Asiner on June 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
Christopher Norris has long been a stalwart admirer of deconstruction and deconstructionists. With Paul de Man, he has even sought to excuse, rationalize, and contextualize de Man's pro Nazi writings that called for the expulsion of Jews from Europe. With Derrida, he misreads both Derrida's texts and those texts that Derrida cites to strengthen the general case for deconstruction. Norris sees deconstuction as does Derrida, a tool that can be used to uncover previously "hidden" or marginalized subtexts. Surprisingly enough, I agree with both. Where I differ is the meaning of "uncover." For Norris and Derrida, "uncover" suggests an infinity of diverse meanings and shades of meanings, all of which can be "teased" out by deconstructive analyses. Derrida, however, adds that there is no methodology inherent within deconstruction that can be isolated as a template by the next generation of deconstructionists. All texts, as noted many times by Derrida, are in an infinite loop of self-deconstruction, a process by which the reader merely and passively notes in passing. Yet, as I follow the labyrinthine vortex of nuanced tropes and allusions needed to uncover this meaning, I find it incredible that the text is self-perpetuating. Further, however tortuous the prose of deconstruction used or the range of tropes dissected, the result is a text that is little more than the obverse of the intended or traditional meaning. The reason for this upside-down flipping of meaning lies in the polar binary underpinning of deconstruction, which requires the deconstructionist to place the privileged term on the left of a slash and the subordinate on the right. Then, the critic switches the terms, seeking rhetorical justification for so doing.Read more ›
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Belyndae Johanningsmeier on April 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
He's an intellectual find. Not for an easy bedtime story, but if you want to learn and then fall asleep. I would highly recommend this biography.
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