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A Reader

Edited by Martin McQuillan

Paperback i (Printed to Order)

This is not a Derrida Reader. It is the first volume to offer a selection of texts from the field of deconstruction in all its radical diversity. The collection examines the fortunes of the term deconstruction, and the ideas associated with it, in the work of the leading commentators on Derrida's texts. It includes previously untranslated, newly translated and uncollected work by Derrida and others.

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Deconstruction: A Reader
Edited by Martin McQuillan
A Map of This Book
Martin McQuillan, 'Five Strategies for Deconstruction'.
Avant la Lettre
Karl Marx, from Capital.
Sigmund Freud, 'A Note on the Mystic Writing Pad'.
Georges Bataille, 'Restricted and General Economy'.
Walter Benjamin, 'Critique of Violence'.
Martin Heidegger, 'The Task of Destroying the History of Ontology'.
Edmond Jabes, 'The Moment After'.
Paul Valéry, 'In Praise of Water'.
Maurice Blanchot, 'On Friendship'.
1. Opening Remarks
Jacques Derrida, 'A Number of Yes'.
2. Philosophy
Christopher Norris, 'The Metaphysics of Presence: Plato, Rousseau, Saussure'.
Richard Rorty, 'Philosophy as a Kind of Writing'.
Rodolph Gasché, 'Deconstruction as Criticism'.
Geoffrey Bennington, 'Genuine Gasché (Perhaps)'.
Simon Critchley 'Black Socrates? Questioning the Philosophical Tradition'.
Jean-François Lyotard, 'Discussions, or Phrasing 'After Auschwitz''.
3. Literature
J. Hillis Miller, 'Derrida's Topographies'.
Paul de Man, 'Autobiography as De-Facement'.
Derek Attridge, 'Ghost Writing'.
Nicholas Royle, 'The Phantom Review'.
Catherine Belsey, 'Hamlet's Dilemma'.
Peggy Kamuf, 'The Ghosts of Critique and Deconstruction'.
4. Culture
Geoffrey Bennington, 'Deconstruction is Not What you Think'.
Andrew Benjamin, 'Derrida, Architecture and Philosophy'.
Bernard Tschumi, 'Violence of Architecture'.
Richard Beardsworth, 'Thinking Technicity'.
Avital Ronell, 'Towards a Narcoanalysis'.
Judith Butler, 'Implicit Censorship and Discursive Agency'.
Fred Botting and Scott Wilson, 'Homoeconopoeisis 1'.
5. Sexual Difference
Diane Elam, 'Unnecessary Introductions'.
Robert Young, 'The Same Difference: Deconstruction and the Theory of Sexual Difference'.
Barbara Johnson, 'Gender Theory and the Yale School'.
Rachel Bowlby, 'Domestication'.
Alexander Duttmann, 'Recognising The Virus'.
Hélène Cixous, 'What Is It O'Clock? or The door (we never enter)'.
6. Psychoanalysis
Geoffrey Hartman, 'Psychoanalysis: The French Connection'.
Nicolas Abraham and Maria Torok, from The Wolf Man's Magic Word.
Samuel Weber, 'The Sideshow, or: Remarks on a Canny Moment'.
Nicholas Royle, 'The Remains of Psychoanalysis (i): Telapathy'.
David Wills, from Prosthesis.
7. Politics
Michael Ryan, 'Derrida and Marx'.
Willy Maley, 'Specters of Engels'.
Bill Readings, 'The Deconstruction of Politics'.
Gayatri Spivak, 'Practical Politics of the Open End'.
Ernesto Laclau, 'Why Do Empty Signifiers Matter in Politics?'
Homi K Bhabha, 'Of Mimicry and Man: The Ambivalence of Colonial Discourse'.
8. Ethics
Emmanuel Levinas, 'Jacques Derrida: Wholly Otherwise'.
Robert Bernasconi, 'The Trace of Levinas in Derrida'.
Drucilla Cornell, 'Post-Structuralism, The Ethical Relation and the Law'.
Philipe Lacoue-Labarthe, 'In the Name of…'
Jean-Luc Nancy, 'What is to be Done?'
John D Caputo, 'God Is Not Differance'
9. The Work of Mourning
Jacques Derrida, '(In Memorium) Paul de Man'.
Jacques Derrida, 'Text Read at Louis Althusser's Funeral'.
Jacques Derrida, 'Adieu: Emmanuel Levinas'.
Jacques Derrida, 'I'm going to have to wander all alone: Gilles Deleuze'.
Jacques Derrida, 'Friendship-Above-All: Jean-François Lyotard'.
10. Closing Statements
Jacques Derrida and Pierre Mendes France, 'Open Letter to Bill Clinton'.
Jacques Derrida, 'Telepathy'.
Jacques Derrida, 'The Deconstruction of Actuality: An Interview with Jacques Derrida'.
Bibliography I: Jacques Derrida
Bibliography II: Key Publications of Contributing Authors

About the Author

Martin McQuillan was Professor of Literary Theory and Cultural Analysis at the London Graduate School and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Kingston University, London. His recent publications include Deconstruction After 9/11(London: Routledge, 2008) and Roland Barthes, or, The Profession of Cultural Studies (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).


Probably the best reader on deconstruction available today...Anyone interested in broadening their idea of what is at stake in deconstruction cannot afford to ignore this volume...A must for philosophy and literature courses.
An extensive collection of passages by a wide variety of authors.
I welcome this volume warmly as important and significant.
This is an excellent volume. McQuillan has balanced nicely well-known texts by Derrida or others with texts that are hard to find, untranslated into English, or even still unpublished. A very useful volume not only for those who need an introduction to deconstruction, but as well for scholars who will be able quickly to find these essays and discover others they did not know.
- Peggy Kamuf, University of Southern California