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The Work of Mourning [Hardcover]

By Jacques Derrida (Author), Pascale-Anne Brault (Editor) & Michael Naas (Editor)
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Item description for The Work of Mourning by Jacques Derrida, Pascale-Anne Brault & Michael Naas...

Jacques Derrida is, in the words of the New York Times, "perhaps the world's most famous philosopher---if not the only famous philosopher." He often provokes controversy as soon as his name is mentioned. But he also inspires the respect that comes from an illustrious career, and, among many who were his colleagues and peers, he inspired friendship. The Work of Mourning is a collection that honors those friendships in the wake of passing.

Gathered here are texts---letters of condolence, memorial essays, eulogies, funeral orations---written after the deaths of well-known figures: Roland Barthes, Paul de Man, Michel Foucault, Louis Althusser, Edmond Jabs, Louis Marin, Sarah Kofman, Gilles Deleuze, Emmanuel Levinas, Jean-Franois Lyotard, Max Loreau, Jean-Marie Benoist, Joseph Riddel, and Michel Servire.

With his words, Derrida bears witness to the singularity of a friendship and to the absolute uniqueness of each relationship. In each case, he is acutely aware of the questions of tact, taste, and ethical responsibility involved in speaking of the dead---the risks of using the occasion for one's own purposes, political calculation, personal vendetta, and the expiation of guilt. More than a collection of memorial addresses, this volume sheds light not only on Derrida's relation to some of the most prominent French thinkers of the past quarter century but also on some of the most important themes of Derrida's entire oeuvre-mourning, the "gift of death," time, memory, and friendship itself.

"In his rapt attention to his subjects' work and their influence upon him, the book also offers a hesitant and tangential retelling of Derrida's own life in French philosophical history. There are illuminating and playful anecdotes---how Lyotard led Derrida to begin using a word-processor; how Paul de Man talked knowledgeably of jazz with Derrida's son. Anyone who still thinks that Derrida is a facetious punster will find such resentful prejudice unable to survive a reading of this beautiful work."---Steven Poole, Guardian

"Strikingly simpa meditations on friendship, on shared vocations and avocations and on philosophy and history."---Publishers Weekly

Citations And Professional Reviews
The Work of Mourning by Jacques Derrida, Pascale-Anne Brault & Michael Naas has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Library Journal - 08/03/2001
  • Publishers Weekly - 06/25/2001 page 68
  • Kirkus Reviews - 07/01/2001 page 914
  • Library Journal - 08/01/2001 page 114

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Item Specifications...

Studio: University Of Chicago Press
Pages   262
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 6.25" Height: 9"
Weight:   1.2 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2001
Publisher   University Of Chicago Press
ISBN  0226143163  
ISBN13  9780226143163  

Availability  0 units.

More About Jacques Derrida, Pascale-Anne Brault & Michael Naas

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jacques Derrida is Directeur d'+tudes at the +cole des Hautes +tudes en Sci?nces Sociales in Paris.

Maurizio Ferraris is Professor of Aesthetics at the University of Turin.

Jacques Derrida was born in 1962.

Jacques Derrida has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Cultural Memory in the Present
  2. Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Modern

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Work of Mourning?

Paying his respect  Jan 21, 2007
This volume is a compendium of obituaries by Jacques Derrida on several key figures of continental philosophy who have since passed in recent years. The book, gathered as a whole, essentially marks the end of an important era in the history of Western philosophy, it was the era of existentialism, phenomenology, structuralism, post-structuralism, Marxist theory, and deconstruction.

Derrida writes elegant and respectful essays about literary theorist Roland Barthes, Paul DeMan, philosopher Michel Foucault, Max Loreau, Jean-Marie Benoist, Marxist theorist Louis Althusser, Edmond Jabes, Joseph Riddel, Michel Serviere, Louis Marin, feminist Sarah Kofman, Gilles Deleuze, Emmanuel Levinas, and Jean-Francois Lyotard.

Although this text is far from a major work of philosophy on behalf of Derrida, I am positive it will be an important resource for future students, and an elegant work of preservation for a by-gone era.
Funereal Rites  Nov 1, 2001
I haven't read this book, but have read most of the obits. The introduction I read in the excerpt here was strong, and if the rest of the material is anything like what I have already encountered (espec. Levinas and Deleuze), it is a remarkable book. Derrida writes beautifully and compassionately when writing of the beloved Other; his infamous turgidity is infrequent in these pieces. Well worthwhile.

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