Bringing together all of Jacques Derrida’s writings on James Joyce, this volume includes the first complete translation of his book Ulysses Gramophone: Two Words for Joyce as well as the first translation of the essay “The Night Watch.” In Ulysses Gramophone, Derrida provides some of his most thorough reflections on affirmation and the “yes,” the signature, and the role of technological mediation in all of these areas. In “The Night Watch,” Derrida pursues his ruminations on writing in an explicitly feminist direction, offering profound observations on the connection between writing and matricide. Accompanying these texts are nine essays by leading scholars from across the humanities addressing Derrida’s treatments of Joyce throughout his work, and two remembrances of lectures devoted to Joyce that Derrida gave in 1982 and 1984. The volume concludes with photographs of Derrida from these two events.
Andrew J. Mitchell is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Emory University. He is the author of Heidegger Among the Sculptors: Body, Space, and the Art of Dwelling.
Sam Slote is Assistant Professor of English at Trinity College Dublin. He is the author of The Silence in Progress of Dante, Mallarmé and Joyce and coeditor (with Luca Crispi) of How Joyce Wrote Finnegans Wake: A Chapter-by-Chapter Genetic Guide.
The Beast and the Sovereign, Volume 1 launches the series with Derrida’s exploration of the persistent association of bestiality or animality with sovereignty. In this seminar from 2001–2002, Derrida continues his deconstruction of the traditional determinations of the human. The beast and the sovereign are connected, he contends, because neither animals nor kings are subject to the law—the sovereign stands above it, while the beast falls outside the law from below. He then traces this association through an astonishing array of texts, including La Fontaine’s fable “The Wolf and the Lamb,” Hobbes’s biblical sea monster in Leviathan, D. H. Lawrence’s poem “Snake,” Machiavelli’s Prince with its elaborate comparison of princes and foxes, a historical account of Louis XIV attending an elephant autopsy, and Rousseau’s evocation of werewolves in The Social Contract.
Deleuze, Lacan, and Agamben also come into critical play as Derrida focuses in on questions of force, right, justice, and philosophical interpretations of the limits between man and animal.