Critical Excess: Overreading in Derrida, Deleuze, Levinas, by Colin Davis

By Colin Davis

The "ancient quarrel" among philosophy and literature turns out to were resolved as soon as and for all with the popularity that philosophy and the humanities can be allies rather than enemies. Critical Excess examines intimately the paintings of 5 thinkers who've had an immense, ongoing effect at the learn of literature and movie: Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, Emmanuel Levinas, Slavoj Žižek, and Stanley Cavell. Their techniques are very varied from each other, yet they every one make unforeseen interpretive leaps that render their readings exhilarating and unnerving.

But do they cross too some distance? Does a scribbled be aware left at the back of by way of Nietzsche relatively let us know concerning the nature of textuality? Can Hitchcock actually inform you "everything you usually desired to find out about Lacan"? Does the blanket hung up in a lodge room invoke the Kantian divide among the knowable extraordinary international and the unknowable issues in themselves? Contextualizing the paintings of the 5 thinkers within the highbrow debates to which they give a contribution, this publication analyzes the stakes and benefits of "overreading."

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Extra info for Critical Excess: Overreading in Derrida, Deleuze, Levinas, Žižek and Cavell

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First given as a lecture in 1951, Heidegger characterises the related but different postures of listening adopted by the poet and the thinker: Language beckons us, at first and then again at the end, toward a thing’s nature. But that is not to say, ever, that in any word-meaning picked up at will language The Ancient Quarrel  supplies us, straight away and definitively, with the transparent nature of the matter as if it were an object ready for use. But the responding in which man authentically listens to the appeal of language is that which speaks in the language of poetry.

But because the word, once it is spoken, slips out of the protection of the caring poet, he alone cannot easily hold fast in all its truth the spoken knowledge of the reserving find and of the reserving nearness. That is why the poet turns to others, so that their remembrance may help in understanding the poetic word, so that in understanding each may have come to pass a homecoming appropriate for him. (Heidegger 2000: 49) Without the audience the poetic word may not be fully understood. Heidegger finds confirmation of this reading in two lines from Hölderlin’s “The Poet’s Vocation” with which he concludes his discussion of “Homecoming”: And a poet gladly joins with others, So that they may understand how to help.

First, he suggests that all of Nietzsche’s writing may be like “I have forgotten my umbrella”:  Derrida, Hermeneutics and Deconstruction apparently readable, but also parodic, undecidable, providing us with no secure context or code for its deciphering, and therefore unreadable at the same time as it gives itself to be read. Then, Derrida takes this suggestion still further: what if his own text were also like “I have forgotten my umbrella”? His essay on Nietzsche might be governed by a code which only he knew, or which he himself did not properly understand; even if he told it to us we would never know whether or not to believe him.

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