Derrida and Joyce
Texts and Contexts
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: State University of New York Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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Key to Abbreviations
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Note on the Translations
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Introduction Derrida and Joyce: On Totality and Equivocation
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The conjunction of James Joyce and Jacques Derrida brings together what many would consider to be the arch representative of high modernism with the signal figure of postmodernism, a writer who authored some of the boldest experiments with the English language with a thinker who reinvented theory as deconstruction and ineradicably changed the way texts are read, ...
I Texts by Jacques Derrida
Ulysses Gramophone:Two Words for Joyce
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Throughout Joyce’s oeuvre, the yes and laughter are intertwined. They form one and the same condition of possibility, a kind of transcendental that for once provokes laughter while making one think. It indeed accompanies all significations, the history and languages of the encyclopedia. It thus exceeds them also, in an unfolding whose anamnestic power resembles the last challenge of literature—literature and philosophy. Joyce has more than ...
The Night Watch
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In a word, in brief, as befits a preface, I will speculate about a working hypothesis, one that will remain for me, to be sure, the object of a risky choice. It is a deliberate selection that I intend to sign, a boldly assumed sorting out, a tri, I might even say an essay, a trial run, an experimental attempt, a try4 (a word that apparently has the same etymology as tri)....
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According to JD, the community of JJ critics was right to accuse him of incompetence, of not mastering the material, of speaking out of turn before audiences of specialists. As a novice in the field, every time he wrote or said anything about JJ he ran the risk of recirculating idées reçues without substantiating or improving upon them through research. At the same...
2 Joyce’s Resonance in Glas
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Derrida’s Glas is an elaboration of Hegel, or, if you will, a gloss (with all the disingenuousness that word implies). To be sure, Derrida’s text, in its arrant strangeness, is hardly a limpid elucidation of Hegel. Derrida introduces a certain complexity into the dialectic in order, perhaps, to maintain it and carry it forward. To take a quote from Nicolas Sarkozy, Derrida’s stance...
3 Meaning Postponed: The Post Card and Finnegans Wake
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To ask what Finnegans Wake means presupposes an understanding of how the book means. The frustration given voice in such a question arises from the fact that Finnegans Wake dashes the hopes and expectations that we, as readers, have learned to bring to the texts we read. To engage with the Wake, therefore, we have to learn how to read anew. This has less to do ...
4 The Mother, of All the Phantasms . . .
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In “Two Words for Joyce” Derrida leaves little room for doubt about the privileged role Joyce plays in his work. “Every time I write,” he says, “Joyce’s ghost is always coming on board” (TW 27/27). Not sometimes, not often, or most often, but “every time I write,” he says, “and even in the most academic pieces of work,” a ghost or phantom of Joyce comes to haunt his...
5 Matricidal Writing: Philosophy’s Endgame
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Derrida’s most recent publication on Joyce, “The Waking Woman: ‘[Reading] in the Book of Himself,’ ” is a preface to Jacques Trilling’s psychoanalytic reading of Ulysses, entitled James Joyce or Matricidal Writing (1973).1 Although an occasional piece, this preface is important. It bears on the contamination of philosophy by literature in Derrida’s writing. It is important...
6 Sero-Positives: Belatedness and Affirmation in Joyce, Cixous, and Derrida
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How can it feel to be writing after Joyce? “It is very late, it is always too late with Joyce, I shall say only two words” (TW 22/15). Or, at the beginning of Glas, “a sort of Wake” (TW 28/30): “what, after all, of the remain(s), today, for us, here, now, of a Hegel?” (G 1a/7a), in a book having a tilt at Hegel’s Sa (savoir absolu, but also sounding like “her”), whose bicolumnar structure is deceptively reminiscent of the catechistic format of the ...
7 JJ, JD, TV
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At the time when James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake was published, on May 4, 1939, Europe, indeed the world, was, as we all know, on the verge of radical, unprecedented change; social, political, technological. It was to be the crisis of civilization toward which the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution had so inexorably appeared to be tending: the great dialectical ...
8 “Mememormee”:Notes on Derrida’s Re-Markings of Desire and Memory in Joyce
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Derrida responds to Joyce’s call for remembrance in specific textual acts of recalling, remembering, and reinscribing. He analyzes and deconstructs Joyce’s texts and then re-members them, gathering scions or slips from Joyce and grafting them into his own scenes of writing. Joyce and Derrida: not the writers themselves but the writings signed with their proper names (which are simultaneously threatened, if not ruined, by the writings to which they...
9 Of Chrematology: Joyce and Money
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Money makes the round go a-world, as Joyce might have said. Certainly, Finnegans Wake, his book of wandering and return, of “aloss and again” (FW 18.22–23), is awash with money. There are English pounds, “shelenks” (FW 8.06), and pence, American bison nickels, French louis, Russian kopecks, German grosch and “dogmarks” (FW 161.08). “Woodpiles of haypennies” (FW 11.21), the “sylvan coyne” (FW 16.31) designed for Ireland by William ...
10 Signature/Countersignature: Derrida’s Response to Ulysses
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Is it possible, as a reader or critic, to do justice to Joyce’s Ulysses? This question immediately raises another one: what would it mean to do justice to a literary work? In this essay I shall be discussing Jacques Derrida’s response to Ulysses in light of the first of these questions (and in so doing attempting to do justice myself to his response), but in order to do this I will initially...
11Two Joyces for Derrida
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I’ll begin with a personal memory, one anecdote, the first and the last one, I promise, so as not to fall prey to nostalgia. In the spring of 1969, having made a firm decision to write an MA thesis on the concept of parody in Finnegans Wake, and having secured the assurance of Hélène Cixous’ supervision, I went to see Jacques Derrida, as I would do weekly, since I was the one of the rare normaliens to take the opportunity of his office hours, and ...
Selection of Photographs
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Page Count: 332
Publication Year: 2013