Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 70% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now
Customer Review

57 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dense, difficult, and fantastically rewarding, 27 Nov. 2001
This review is from: Writing and Difference (Paperback)
Do not approach this book as you would, say, a reader or an anthology of Derrida's work. This is a dense collection of essays, and at a glance you are liable to be overwhelmed, as I was, by his references, his language and his style. Alan Bass has done a tremendous job of translating Derrida's notoriously playful text, rendering it as clear as possible without undermining the complexity and intertextuality that is so necessary to its flow. This does not mean, however, that it is by any means easy to read. Be prepared to grapple with it and to be frustrated, to re-read a paragraph or sentence several times and still be confused. This is deliberate, although Derrida is not as sadistically obtuse as many critics have damned him as being. Instead, this difficult prose style is intended to make the reader examine the interplay between himself and what he reads, to question the authority of the text, to realise how much we take for granted when we engage in the act of reading.
If you have already come across Derrida's essay 'Structure, Sign and Play' and are intrigued, then this book offers the next logical step, but be prepared. Unless you are superhumanly familiar with the works of Husserl, Edmond Jabes and Foucault, then many of the references here will leave you running to catch up. Get past this, however, and you will find your conceptions about the world challenged in a way that they never have before.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Dec 2010 23:43:48 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Dec 2010 23:46:30 GMT
lexo1941 says:
I'm not one of the horde of Derrida-bashers; I've found his work alternately fascinating, boring, remarkable, pointless and intermittently interesting when he can be bothered to make genuine arguments. I have to say that I don't think you've successfully conveyed why this book is so good. It seems to me that if the point Derrida wants to make is to get people to realise how much they 'take for granted when [they] engage in the act of reading', then to write deliberately obscure and so-called 'playful' prose (actually I find Derrida's much-hyped 'playful'-ness merely whimsical and rather narcissistic) is to beg the question that you are supposedly asking. If Derrida wanted to argue that writing and reading are more complicated than we think they are, it would have been more convincing if he had actually bothered to argue the point. It so happens that, from time to time, he did bother to do that, which is why I for one would call 'Dissemination' a far better book than 'Writing and Difference'. Instead he chose to make his own writing difficult. This was a bad idea, because Derrida's difficulty does not so much direct the reader's attention towards the supposed ambiguities and aporias in other, more superficially 'easy'-seeming kinds of writing, but only on the difficulty of understanding what Derrida was on about and why he wrote the way he did. (Derrida's difficulty does not necessarily open up new ways of reading, say, J.L. Austin. Btw, Derrida and de Man, inventing a concept and giving it an ancient Greek name does not necessarily make it any more real than just calling a difficulty a difficulty, as opposed to an 'aporia'.) I first read Derrida as a teenager and have been reading him on and off since then, and I must admit that the only conceptions I had about the world that have been changed in the process, were conceptions about Derrida. I used to think him formidably difficult and possibly very, very important. I now think him needlessly obscure and only moderately important.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Dec 2011 17:24:52 GMT
telis says:
Deridda: much ado about quite nothing.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Top Reviewer Ranking: 8,881,370