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For Derrida

9780823230334: Hardback
Release Date: 15th July 2009

9780823230341: Paperback
Release Date: 15th July 2009

9780823230358: EPUB
Release Date: 15th July 2009

Dimensions: 229 x 153

Number of Pages: 384

Fordham University Press

For Derrida

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. The chapters focus especially on Derrida's late work, including passages from the last, as yet unpublished, seminars.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.

Hardback / £96.00
Paperback / £36.00
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 They focus especially on Derrida’s late work, including passages from the last, as yet unpublished, seminars.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 Research Professor at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of many books and essays on nineteenth- and twentieth-century English, European, and American literature and on literary theory. His most recent books include Speech Acts in Literature, On Literature, and Literature as Conduct: Speech Acts in Henry James (Fordham).

A classic example of 'late Miller', For Derrida effortlessly links close readings of literary with philosophical works, while also reflecting on the ways in which teletechnology and cyberspace affect and tap into the proceedings. This is a unique and brilliant book, not only for its careful and thought-provoking readings of Derrida's extraordinary oeuvre, but also as a poignant intellectual record of the long and important friendship that Derrida and Miller shared.-Nicholas Royle


Hillis Miller is one of the most important literary critics of the past fifty years. Always remarkably lucid, engaging, and accessible, his work has also proved an invaluable guide for students and scholars wishing to understand deconstruction. A classic example of 'late Miller', For Derrida effortlessly links close readings of literary with philosophical works, while also reflecting on the ways in which teletechnology and cyberspace affect and tap into the proceedings. This is a unique and brilliant book, not only for its careful and thought-provoking readings of Derrida's extraordinary oeuvre, but also as a poignant intellectual record of the long and important friendship that Derrida and Miller shared.-Nicholas Royle


A profoundly moving achievement-J. Hillis Miller offers those of us who care to read a series of singular responses and testimonies to Jacques Derrida, and everything gathered in that name. Miller is the finest of readers, and the most responsible witness to the legacy of Derrida. In touching with such care on a number of important themes and motifs in the later works of Derrida, Miller touches us all, teaching us what it means to be touched by Derrida, and why Derrida remains-today and to come-of such singular significance.-Julian Wolfreys

"Offers the reader the depth and breadth that only an eminent professor of literature and someone who has been a reader and interlocutor of Derrida for decades could offer." —Pleshette DeArmitt, University of Memphis