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"The English version of Dissemination [is] an able translation by Barbara Johnson . . . . Derrida’s central contention is that language is haunted by dispersal, absence, loss, the risk of unmeaning, a risk which is starkly embodied in all writing. The distinction between philosophy and literature therefore becomes of secondary importance. Philosophy vainly attempts to control the irrecoverable dissemination of its own meaning, it strives—against the grain of language—to offer a sober revelation of truth. Literature—on the other hand—flaunts its own meretriciousness, abandons itself to the Dionysiac play of language. In Dissemination—more than any previous work—Derrida joins in the revelry, weaving a complex pattern of puns, verbal echoes and allusions, intended to ’deconstruct’ both the pretension of criticism to tell the truth about literature, and the pretension of philosophy to the literature of truth."—Peter Dews, New Statesman

See our website in remembrance of Derrida.
Read the translator’s introduction.

400 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 1981

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory

Philosophy: Aesthetics

Table of Contents

Translator’s Introduction
Outwork, prefacing
Plato’s Pharmacy
1. Pharmacia
2. The Father of Logos
3. The Filial Inscription: Theuth, Hermes, Thoth, Nabu, Nebo
4. The Pharmakon
5. The Pharmakeus
6. The Pharmakos
7. The Ingredients: Phantasms, Festivals, and Paints
8. The Heritage of the Pharmakon: Family Scene
9. Play: From the Pharmakon to the Letter and from Blindness to the Supplement
The Double Session
1. The Trigger
2. The Apparatus or Frame
3. The Scission
4. The Double Bottom of the Plupresent
5. wriTing, encAsIng, screeNing
6. The Attending Discourse
7. The Time before First
8. The Column
9. The Crossroads of the "Est"
10. Grafts, a Return to Overcasting
XI. The Supernumerary

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