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Badiou and Deleuze Read Literature

Jean-Jacques Lecercle

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Considers the 'strong readings' that Alain Badiou and Gilles Deleuze imposed on the texts they read

Why do philosophers read literature? How do they read it? Does their philosophy derive from their reading of literature? If so, to what extent? Anyone who reads contemporary European philosophers has to ask such questions.

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Chapter 1: Disjunctive Synthesis
Chapter 2: A Question of Style
Chapter 3: Deleuze Reads Proust
Chapter 4: Badiou Reads Mallarmé
Chapter 5: A Modernist Canon? Badiou and Deleuze Read Beckett
Chapter 6: Reading the Fantastic After Badiou and Deleuze
Conclusion: Aesthetics or Inaesthetics?

About the Author

Jean-Jacques Lecercle is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Nanterre, Paris.


Gilles Deleuze and Alain Badiou have never been discussed so lucidly as in this brilliant comparison, which brings out the salient features of two major bodies of thought. Not afraid to be utterly straightforward in his exposition of their similarities and differences, Lecercle shows that their contrasting engagements with literature can help us get to the heart of their philosophical projects. Once I started reading I did not want to stop.

A tour de force which is destined to become a classic assessment of these two thinkers.

- Jonthan Culler, Cornell University

A timely exploration of the intersection between literature and philosophy in the French continental tradition. Lecercle’s skillfully crafted text offers penetrating analyses with a clarity and ease of articulation born of long familiarity with the works that he engages … [It] offers rich material for the consideration of why and how philosophy needs literature.

- Caitlyn Doyle, Northwestern University, Post-Scriptum
Highly recommended
- Choice

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