- Editors’ Note
CR: The New Centennial Review is devoted to comparative studies of the Americas. The journal’s primary emphasis is on opening the possibilities for a future Americas that does not amount to a mere reiteration of its past. We seek interventions, provocations, and indeed insurgencies that release futures for the Americas. In general, CR welcomes work that is inflected, informed, and driven by theoretical and philosophical concerns at the limits of the potentialities for the Americas.
Such work may be explicitly concerned with the Americas, or it may be broader, global and/or genealogical scholarship with implications for the Americas. CR recognizes that the language of the Americas is translation, and that therefore questions of translation, dialogue, and border crossings (linguistic, cultural, national, and the like) are necessary for rethinking the foundations and limits of the Americas.
For 45 years, CR has been a journal committed to interdisciplinarity, and we continue to encourage work that goes beyond a simple performance of the strategies of various disciplines and interdisciplines, and that therefore interrogates them. [End Page vii]
For nearly 30 years Rodolphe Gasché’s influence on philosophically determined literary and critical studies, as well as on philosophy itself, in the United States has been constant and of a singularly high quality. Gasché’s specific interventions in the debates surrounding the determination and utility of deconstruction—beginning in 1979, with the publication of “Deconstruction as Criticism,” but most notably in 1986, 1994, and 1998, the publication dates of The Tain of the Mirror, Inventions of Difference, and The Wild Card of Reading, respectively—forever changed the way we thought about and read the work of Jacques Derrida and Paul de Man. Gasché then and now raises the bar. The Tain of the Mirror remains the standard work for understanding the philosophical context for Derrida, and it taught a generation of readers, professors, and students alike, the stakes of deconstruction. More recently, Gasché’s work on Kant’s Critique of Judgment has literally changed how we read this text and how we assess its relation to Kant’s Critical Philosophy more generally.
Paying Attention to Rodolphe Gasché is not only the first complete issue of a journal devoted to Gasché’s work, it also provides the first critical accounts of Gasché’s most recent book, Europe, An Infinite Task (Stanford 2009). Because of the timing of this project, however, contributors worked from Gasché’s typed manuscript. Therefore, readers will not find page references to Europe included in these pages.
The editors thank all the contributors to this issue for their remarkable enthusiasm for this project, as well as for their particular essays. We owe special thanks to Werner Hamacher, who not only recommended several people as possible contributors (all of whom agreed to write for this issue), but made clear to us its importance, necessity, and timeliness. It is fair to say, simply, that without Professor Hamacher’s intervention near the beginning of the organization of the issue, our effort to pay attention to the work of Rodolphe Gasché would have been far poorer. Theresa Monacelli provided much needed administrative help, for which we thank her. Matthew Anderson’s editorial assistance was indispensable. Mostly, however, we thank Rodolphe Gasché: for more than twenty years he has provided the editors the best possible example of scholarly, pedagogical, and collegial responsibility. He has been a valued member of the UB editorial board of CR from the beginning [End Page viii] of the journal’s current instantiation and, most of all, he has been a good friend.
We currently are soliciting work for Special Issues or Special Sections on the following topics, among others:
• Resisting Literature
• Borges, Kabbalah, and Politics
• African Americans in Japan [End Page ix]