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Derrida: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – 25 Aug 2011

2.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (25 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019280345X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192803450
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 1 x 10.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 39,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

Glendinning's overview is accurate and informed (Times Literary Supplement)

it's very short, and certainly worth reading (New Statesman)

Glendinnings book is dense and fast-paced; although extensive philosophical knowledge is not assumed, its readers are required to assimilate complex ideas at quite some speed and this in itself will be enough to deter some. However, Glendinnings implied reader is perhaps not the philosophical novice, rather the curious student or scholar made wary by Derridas reputation and the hostility of the tradition. In this case, Glendinnings clarity and rigour, his commitment to careful reading, and his skilful mediation between Derridas voluminous back-catalogue and the inexperienced reader will be sufficient to engage and stimulate new readers and new readings of Derridas work.

About the Author

Simon Glendinning is a Reader in European Philosophy in the European Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is the author of On Being with Others: Heidegger-Derrida-Wittgenstein (Routledge, 1998), The Idea of Continental Philosophy (EUP, 2006) and In the Name of Phenomenology (Routledge, 2007). He is also the editor of The Edinburgh Encyclopedia of Continental Philosophy (EUP, 1999), Arguing with Derrida (Blackwells, 2001), and (with Robert Eaglestone) Derrida's Legacies: Literature and Philosophy (Routledge, 2008). He has contributed essays to numerous books and journals and is currently working on topics in the philosophy of Europe.


Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The better Very Short Introductions do more than try to be a simple crib sheet. Happily this one succeeds in being a lot more than that, and more than a mere introduction to a writer for whom the very idea of an introduction is problematic anyhow. Glendinning puts forward an argument that Derrida's work is inspired by a deep understanding and a genuine respect for the Western philosophical tradition and is a contribution to that tradition rather than just a nihilistic attack. He also covers fascinating biographical points whilst showing why Derrida was apparently so reticent about the very idea of a writer's origins. The book moves through Derrida's writing thematically and highlights the latter development of his political engagements.

The style, unlike Derrida's, is accessible to the lay reader whilst remaining uncompromising in tackling the challenge of Derrida's writing.

I don't think approaching Derrida is ever for the faint of heart but if you really want to take a fresh look at a writer who is notoriously difficult to read then this is a place to (re)start.
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This is certainly not a beginners text, which rightly or wrongly I take the hooks in this series to be. Whereas one might hope for elucidation, it feels like a triumph in obfuscation. I virtually never give bad, or poor reviews, but, sad to say, this is one of them. This is not a criticism of the author's scholarship, but it is not suitable as an introduction to the non-specialist reader, trying to get a handle on Derrida's thought and approach. There are plenty of other introductory texts, that are clearer and manage to embody Derrida's deconstruction ethos.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The one upshot is that I do not know enough to find the introduction illuminating.
I would have like to have seen more practical examples of text analysis.
The other upshot really is what everyone know already, Derrida is by no means easy to read.
Some of the questions he appears to ask are challenging.
But do they amount to a coherent viewpoint?
I'm none the wiser, but that may just be my problem.
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