Abstract

A critical review essay on Quentin Meillassoux’s The Number and the Siren: A Decipherment of Mallarmé’s “Coup de dés” (2012). The first part examines in detail the claims and methods of the book, particularly the skeleton key approach based on word count. It then questions why Meillassoux follows so closely and surreptitiously three key texts of Edgar Allan Poe’s about chance and necessity, which leads to expanding the essay’s critical horizon to his philosophical enterprise as a whole. Taking up his central notion of “absolute contingency” and its correlative dismissal of continental philosophy, the essay interprets Meillassoux’s project as a radical and messianic re-envisioning of chance, necessity and address in literature and philosophy. In spite of its unimpressive scholarship on poetry and Mallarmé, and an overall weak indictment of continental philosophy, The Number and the Siren must be read for what it is: an attempt at performing the parousia of speculative temporality.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6539
Print ISSN
0300-7162
Pages
pp. 7-23
Launched on MUSE
2015-08-07
Open Access
No
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