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Other titles in the Cultural Memory in the Present series:
Beckett, Derrida, and the Event of Literature (Cultural Memory in the Present Cultural Memory in the Presen)by Asja Szafraniec
Synopses & Reviews
“Those who live by the word have unfinished business with the achievement of Samuel Beckett. Asja Szafraniecs ambitious study, taking Derridas elaborations as measures in turn measured by Becketts corpus, is as clear and comprehensive and illuminating a progress with the complex of these performers as one might ask for. Near initiates of this region of crisscross between what is called philosophy and what literature, as well as experienced warriors within it, should find cause to be grateful for Asja Szafraniecs sure hand and expansive connections.” —Stanley Cavell, Harvard University
"This is a remarkable and valuable work in many respects, in particular because it is not only the first, to my knowledge, to systematically explore the relation between Derrida and Beckett, but also because it puts Derrida's vision of literature to the test in the context of a corpus of writings that does not belong to the canon of literature with which he has been involved." —Rodolphe Gasché, SUNY Buffalo
Book News Annotation:
Derrida refused to comment on Beckett, although he took pains to comment on his refusal, which he blamed on simple inability. Fortunately Szafraniec (comparative literature, U. of Amsterdam) has no such reservations and ably takes on both giants of twentieth century thought. She starts with the premise that Derrida believed literary works shared a double, judicial-economic gesture, and that the judicial more closely favors Beckett's work. From this she branches into commentary on criticism by Deleuze, Cavell and Badiou on Beckett, bringing into focus not only Derrida's thought but also that of his contemporaries. The result is a new reading of Beckett and to approaches to contemporary literature in general. It would have been fascinating to read Derrida's response to this approach, but Szafraniec's mastery of Derridean concepts is both sophisticated and confident. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Jacques Derrida's repeatedly stated admiration and professed inability to comment on the work
of Samuel Beckett are the point of departure for this book's exploration of the relation between philosophy and literature.
The late Jacques Derridas notion of literature is explored in this new study. Starting with Derridas self-professed inability to comment on the work of Samuel Beckett, whom Derrida nevertheless considered one of the most interesting and exemplary writers of our time, Asja Szafraniec argues that the shared feature of literary works as Derrida understands them is a double, juridical-economical gesture, and that one aspect of this notion (the juridical) is more hospitable to Becketts oeuvre than the other. She then discusses other contemporary philosophical approaches to Beckett, including those of Gilles Deleuze, Stanley Cavell, and Alain Badiou. The book offers an innovative analysis of Derridas approach to literature, as well as an overview of current philosophical approaches to contemporary literature, and a number of innovative readings of Becketts work.
Jacques Derrida' s repeatedly stated admiration and professed inability to comment on the work of Samuel Beckett are the point of departure for this book' s exploration of the relation between philosophy and literature.
About the Author
Asja Szafraniec obtained her Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Amsterdam. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Amsterdam.
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