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Title:  Views and Interviews: On ‘Deconstruction’ in America Author:  Rodolphe Gasché Series;  Contemporary European Cultural Studies Imprint:  The Davies Group, Publishers soft cover 142 pp. USD 18.00 ISBN 978-188570946 October 2006 Much of the controversy that surrounds the writings of Jacques Derrida is the result of the transformation of his thought in North American literature departments in the sixties and seventies into a method for reading texts called ‘deconstruction’. In Views and Interviews: On 'Deconstruction' in America, Gasché takes issue with this interpretation of Derrida's thought by both his followers and detractors. In the three interviews contained in the book that focus on the reception of French thought in North American academia, and on his critique, beginning with The Tain of the Mirror, of deconstruction as a literary theory, Gasché defends a primarily philosophical approach to Derrida's thought. He situates its starting point in a debate with the phenomenologies of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger, and submits — particularly in the opening essay "Without a Title" — that the singularity of Derrida's thought is its unrelenting and uncompromising vigilance in the face of all unquestioned certainties, assurances, self-evidences, dogmatisms, and creeds. Contents Without a Title From One Topos to an Other Thinking from the Limit Saving the Honor of Thinking Reviews “Rodolphe Gasché is one of the leading figures explicating and advancing European thought today. Well-known for the rigor, lucidity, and scrupulousness of his thinking and writing, his books have set the standard for the highest aspirations of scholarship over the course of decades. Views and Interviews is a welcome addition to Gasché’s body of work. The wonderful interviews and essay collected here offer a personal perspective on the demands of recent critical thought, especially those of the phenomenological tradition. Gasché not only reveals previously unknown aspects of his multilingual upbringing and the path of his own intellectual formation, he also eloquently articulates a “new vigilance” of thinking that would be the proper mode of inheriting Derrida’s work.” — Gerhard Richter, University of California, Davis “Rodolphe Gasché’s superbly argued writings have brought out the distinctively philosophical voice of twentieth-century and present-day European thought and, more specifically, of Jacques Derrida’s oeuvre, whose rigors and wide-ranging implications risked being drowned out by an all too cursory reception in the Anglo-American academy. No one today can seriously discuss what, with a somewhat unfortunate terminology, is called Continental philosophy, let alone poststructuralism or deconstruction, without taking stock of Gasché’s original contributions. His many studies, spanning a tradition that runs from Kant to de Man, Husserl to Derrida, Heidegger to Patocka, and addressing broad themes from the idea of form, nature, Europe, aporias, and the honor of thinking, single-handedly rescued an entire intellectual tradition from its confinement to theoretical posturing in literary theory and cultural studies. Gasché has consistently raised the stakes of the philosophical debate in bringing out the reflexive, phenomenological, and hermeneutic underpinnings of critical theory in its complicated reception of poststructuralist French thought and has thereby restored the latter to its originality and integrity, laying bare its genuine challenge. These interviews, prefaced by an unpublished substantial introduction by Gasché, trace his scholarly itinerary and shed new light on the remarkable paths his patient thinking and exemplary writing has taken over the years. The book is an indispensable guide to the intellectual history of twentieth and early twenty-first century European thought as its entered the English speaking world and presents the ideas of one of its most respected interpreters with the lucidity and seriousness that are Gasché's trademark.” — Hent de Vries, Professor of Humanities & Philosophy The Johns Hopkins University Author Rodolphe Gasché is Eugenio Donato Professor of Comparative Literature at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He studied philosophy and comparative literature in Munich, Berlin, and Paris. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from the Freie Universitat Berlin (Germany). Besides translating major works by Derrida and Lacan into German and publishing numerous articles in a variety of scholarly journals, he has published seven books: Die hybride Wissenschaft (1973); System und Metaphorik in der Philosophie von Georges Bataille (1978); The Tain of the Mirror: Derrida and the Philosophy of Reflection (1986); Inventions of Difference: On Jacques Derrida (1994); The Wild Card of Reading: On Paul de Man (1998); Of Minimal Things. Studies on the Notion of Relation (1999); The Idea of Form: Rethinking Kant's Aesthetics (2003); and, The Honor of Thinking: Theory, Criticism, Philosophy, forthcoming in 2007. His interests include the history of aesthetics, German Idealism and Romanticism, phenomenological and post-phenomenological thought, hermeneutics, and critical theory.
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