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For Derrida

9780823230334: Hardback
Release Date: 15th July 2009

9780823230341: Paperback
Release Date: 15th July 2009

9780823230358: EPUB
Release Date: 25th August 2009

Dimensions: 153 x 229

Number of Pages: 384

Fordham University Press

For Derrida


Hardback / £92.00
Paperback / £35.00
EPUB / £32.00

This book—the culmination of forty years of friendship between J. Hillis Miller and Jacques Derrida, during which Miller also closely followed all Derrida’s writings and seminars—is “for Derrida” in two senses. It is “for him,” dedicated to his memory. The chapters also speak, in acts of reading, as advocates for Derrida’s work. They focus especially on Derrida’s late work, including passages from the last, as yet unpublished, seminars. The chapters are “partial to Derrida,” on his side, taking his part, gratefully submitting themselves to the demand made by Derrida’s writings to be read—slowly, carefully, faithfully, with close attention to semantic detail.

The chapters do not progress forward to tell a sequential story. They are, rather, a series of perspectives on the heterogeneity of Derrida’s work, or forays into that heterogeneity.

The chief goal has been, to borrow a phrase from Wallace Stevens, “plainly to propound” what Derrida says. The book aims, above all, to render Derrida’s writings justice. It should be remembered, however, that, according to Derrida himself, every rendering of justice is also a transformative interpretation. A book like this one is not a substitute for reading Derrida for oneself. It is to be hoped that it will encourage readers to do just that.

J. HILLIS MILLER is UCI Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Irvine. Among his many books are For Derrida and Literature as Conduct (both Fordham). Miller is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the American Philosophical Society. He received the Modern Language Association Lifetime Scholarly Achievement Award in 2005 and in 1986 was President of the MLA.