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 might be allies rather than enemies. severe extra examines intimately the paintings of 5 thinkers who've had an immense, ongoing influence at the examine of literature and picture: Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, Emmanuel Levinas, Slavoj ?i?ek, and Stanley Cavell. Their methods are very assorted from each other, yet they every one make unforeseen interpretive leaps that render their readings exhilarating and unnerving.But do they pass too a ways? Does a scribbled word left in the back of through Nietzsche quite let us know concerning the nature of textuality? Can Hitchcock really inform you "everything you usually desired to find out about Lacan"? Does the blanket hung up in a inn room invoke the Kantian divide among the knowable out of the ordinary global and the unknowable issues in themselves? Contextualizing the paintings of the 5 thinkers within the highbrow debates to which they give a contribution, this booklet analyzes the stakes and merits of "overreading."

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Additional resources for Critical Excess: Overreading in Derrida, Deleuze, Levinas, Zizek and Cavell

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In his second question Derrida continues to probe the status of good will as the axiomatic underpinning of interpretation and understanding. Derrida asks what would happen to the notion of good will if psychoanalytic hermeneutics were integrated into a general hermeneutics. This, according to Derrida, “is just what Professor Gadamer was proposing to do last evening” (Derrida 1991a: 53). Psychoanalysis problematises the primacy of the will by conceiving all human experience as inflected by the hidden workings of the unconscious, so it might radically transform a theory of understanding based upon the presumption of good will.

Derrida is on the whole respectful towards literary critics and scholars, but he has little interest in or time for their work because they overlook what interests him most in texts. In his view both formalist and thematic critics of all varieties attempt in their different ways to pin the work down, to restrain it by identifying its formal features or encoded messages. Contrary to such approaches Derrida’s deconstruction is not a critical method amongst others, despite the attempts of some critics to turn it into one; rather, it is an attempt to traverse the event of the text in its utter singularity, to stand exposed—and obliged to respond—to its untameable strangeness.

Sometimes, Heidegger suggests that we should merely listen to the poem, opening ourselves up to its profound call. If elucidation is called for, then it should be discreet, reverential and ready to disappear as soon as its work is done so that we can stand again in the pure presence of the poem. Sometimes, though, Heidegger also suggests that the poem fundamentally requires interpretation; it is incomplete without the interpreter’s intervention, which is thus neither dispensable nor incidental.

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