The Work of Mourning
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The Work of Mourning

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  128 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Jacques Derrida is, in the words of the New York Times, "perhaps the world's most famous philosopher—if not the only famous philosopher." He often provokes controversy as soon as his name is mentioned. But he also inspires the respect that comes from an illustrious career, and, among many who were his colleagues and peers, he inspired friendship. The Work of Mourning is a...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 15th 2003 by University of Chicago Press (first published 2001)
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This volume is a compendium of obituaries by Jacques Derrida on several key figures of continental philosophy who have since passed in recent years. The book, gathered as a whole, essentially marks the end of an important era in the history of Western philosophy, it was the era of existentialism, phenomenology, structuralism, post-structuralism, Marxist theory, and deconstruction.

Derrida writes elegant and respectful essays about literary theorist Roland Barthes, Paul DeMan, philosopher Michel...more
This is a book I'd like to read again. "The Work of Mourning" is a book of passionate eulogies, sprinkled with philosophical digressions here and there, depending on Derrida's subject. I ordered the book specifically for the chapter on Sarah Kofman, but found myself captivated by the intensity of Derrida's grief for these people.

Two chapters remain prominent in my mind: the last words on Lyotard, and the entirety of the eulogy for Kofman, which is particularly moving for Derrida's avowed diffic...more
Marissa Perel
Oct 09, 2008 Marissa Perel rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Marissa by: Steven Taylor
I have a lot of questions about the efficacy of the material in this book. Though it is profound that Derrida succeeded almost all of his colleagues, and therefore had to undertake the work of writing for them, I believe the profundity of the material lies more with the moment of grief than after. Though I very much enjoyed a few of these eulogies, it felt like I was prying into Derrida's tender process of eulogizing. I did empathize with some his ways of dealing with and looking at grief, and t...more
Oct 12, 2009 Melanie marked it as to-read
I'm not a huge Derrida fan, but I'm really liking this collection.
Amazing...wonderful look at the loss of loss.
wasn't feeling so good at the time...
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Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) was the founder of “deconstruction,” a way of criticizing not only both literary and philosophical texts but also political institutions. Although Derrida at times expressed regret concerning the fate of the word “deconstruction,” its popularity indicates the wide-ranging influence of his thought, in philosophy, in literary criticism and theory, in art and, in particula...more
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