Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Preface

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pp. vii-xiii

“Sleep, perhaps, has never been philosophical,” Jean-Luc Nancy once remarked.1 Perhaps. For if philosophy has not managed to contain sleep within itself, neither has it quite managed to forget it. The problem of sleep is always hovering at the edges of rational thought, which...

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1. Toward Sleep

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pp. 1-49

In a passing observation, Maurice Merleau-Ponty compares sleep to a god—which indeed for the ancient Greeks it was. As a god, sleep may be as fickle as any other, giving or withholding its favors at will. At one time it possesses us without our consent; at another...

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2. Sleepless

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pp. 51-76

If the process of falling asleep reveals some of the more elusive processes of consciousness, the same can be said of not falling asleep. By this I do not of course mean being awake as such, but being awake when one ought to be asleep: insomnia. Insomnia is not, however, a...

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3. Leaving Sleep

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pp. 77-107

When the call to “wake up!” is sounded by anything from a revolutionary movement to a letter to the editor, the benefits of being awake are commonly contrasted to the sodden torpor of sleep. It is of course invariably an outside observer who issues the wake-up...

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4. Sleepwaking

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pp. 109-141

If, as Lacan indicates, we never wake up absolutely even when we think we are absolutely awake, it follows that an element of dream accompanies us always, whether or not we are not conscious of it. So Blanchot can say, in The Writing of the Disaster, “There is no stop,...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 143-144

Nobody writes alone, not even in the dead of night, and I have profited enormously from people who have helped me think about the dim and liminal realm to which these pages are devoted. The bibliography at the end of this book indicates something of its intellectual...

Notes

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pp. 145-152

Bibliography

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pp. 153-162

Index

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pp. 163-167

About the author

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pp. 169-185