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Signature Derrida
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Throughout his long career, Jacques Derrida had a close, collaborative relationship with "Critical Inquiry" and its editors. He saved some of his most important essays for the journal, and he relished the ensuing arguments and polemics that stemmed from the responses to his writing that "Critical Inquiry" encouraged. Collecting the best of Derrida's work that was published in the journal between 1980 and 2002, "Signature Derrida" provides a remarkable introduction to the philosopher and the evolution of his thought. These essays define three significant "periods" in Derrida's writing: his early, seemingly revolutionary phase; a middle stage, often autobiographical, that included spirited defense of his work; and his late period, when his persona as a public intellectual was prominent, and he wrote on topics such as animals and religion. The first period is represented by essays like "The Law of Genre," in which Derrida produces a kind of phenomenological narratology. Another essay, "The Linguistic Circle of Geneva," embodies the second, presenting deconstructionism at its best: Derrida shows that what was imagined to be an epistemological break in the study of linguistics was actually a repetition of earlier concepts. The final period of Derrida's writing includes the essays "Of Spirit" and "The Animal That Therefore I Am (More to Follow)" and eulogies for Michel Foucault, Louis Marin, and Emmanuel Levinas, in which Derrida uses the ideas of each thinker to push forward the implications of their theories. Gathering a small but crucial portion of the oeuvre of this singular philosopher, "Signature Derrida" is the most wide-ranging, and thus most representative, anthology of Derrida's work to date.
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About the Author

Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) was director of studies at the Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales, Paris, and professor of humanities at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of many books published by the University of Chicago Press. Jay Williams is senior managing editor of Critical Inquiry.

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"Along with Ludwig Wittgenstein and Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida... will be remembered as one of the three most important philosophers of the twentieth century. No thinker in the last one hundred years had a greater impact than he did on people in more fields and different disciplines." (New York Times) "Jacques Derrida revolutionised our understanding of words, texts, reading, and authorship.... Each publication is a singular demonstration of a patient response to the contours, rhythms, and turns of the subject being addressed." (Times (UK))"

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