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Reviews249 precociousness — Derrida and the poststructuralist new Nietzscheane (the point being to show that Burke exemplifies a politicized version of deconstruction) — Lentricchia displays a more serious weakness, a blindness to the new politics of poststructuralism being opened up currently by Derrida and others (Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and Jean-Luc Nancy, along with a number of American critics attuned to a "replaying of politics") which interrogates the politics inherent in philosophy and literary studies as such, while bringing to bear the textualist strategies of reading on the educational institution itself. This weakness is not just a sin of omission, but a blindness — de Man's revenge — in that Lentricchia credits Burke with the progressive politics of deconstructionism that he denies to contemporary representatives of that movement: "In the language of poststructuralist theory, but against its intention (?), Burke is saying that there is 'always already' more at stake than the pleasure of the text" (p. 120). In After the New Criticism Lentricchia stated that "no one is in a worse position to judge the blindness of a particular point of view than the one who subscribes to it; I must leave to others, therefore, the task of specifying and evaluating my perspective" (p. xii). I accept this task by pointing out that Lentricchia is a Derridean . The lesson that he derives from Burke— that "literature is inherently nothing; or it is inherently a body of rhetorical strategies waiting to be seized" (p. 157) — is precisely Derrida's point in Otobiographie de Nietzsche. "We need to know that what is therapeutic or prophylactic for some," Lentricchia states, echoing Derrida's postconcept of the pharmakon, "is poison for others" (p. 158). In short, I found myself ready to endorse, counter-sign, everything Lentricchia says — "But what we now call the deconstruction of the subject and of rhetoric need not work on behalf of the will to enervation" (p. 116) — except that, when he admits that "there is a de Man in us all" (p. 51), I cannot share in Lentricchia's feeling of remorse over this avowal. University ??· FloridaGregory L. Ulmer Taking Chances: Derrida, Psychoanalysis, and Literature, edited by Joseph H. Smith and William Kerrigan; xvi & 191 pp. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984, $20.00. Seven individual essays are brought together under a title that addresses the question of chance and links the disciplines of psychoanalysis and literature to the proper name Derrida. Implicitly, the collection also links that name to a movement and to a group of followers to which the contributors presumably belong. Each of the essays sets in motion the terms of this title and of this protocol , exploring the nature of the "individual's" chance or fate, or elaborating the relations of literature, psychoanalysis, and Derrida in terms of the debts incurred. 250Philosophy and Literature Derrida's essay begins by noting that chance is often linked to the notion of falling; he traces this motif back to Epicurus' atomism and the fortuitous swerve that accounts for the existence of the world. He then associates this clinamen to the fate of Epicurus' own writing and hence to intellectual legacies, notably Freud's. Picking up this thread in Derrida, William Kerrigan traces the fate of the doctrine of atomism and its relation to individualism, showing how, even before Freud's attack on the self-identical subject, atomistic individualism contained within it the seeds for its own demise. Samuel Weber combines this concern with the subject and the issue of discipleship. Developing the "singular topology" of a self that returns to itself only as an other, he focuses on an enigmatic question in Derrida's "seculer — sur 'Freud'" that asks: "What if the debt were always that of another?" (p. 36). Through a rigorous but often witty analysis of Heidegger's and Nietzsche's notion of debt, Weber shows how Derrida's "Spéculer" is part of the problem it analyzes and thus establishes and reelaborates Derrida's debt to philosophy. Alan Bass's engaging essay also addresses the question of discipleship. It combines an autobiographical narrative with theoretical insights. Taking as paradigmatic his own history as a student of Derrida and an analyst, Bass suggests that the issue of transference needs to...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 249-251
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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