Cultural Graphology: Writing After Derrida

Hardcover | September 12, 2016

byJuliet Fleming

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“Cultural Graphology” could be the name of a new human science: this was Derrida’s speculation when, in the late 1960s, he imagined a discipline that combined psychoanalysis, deconstruction, and a commitment to the topic of writing. He never undertook the project himself but did leave two brief sketches of how he thought cultural graphology might proceed. In this book, Juliet Fleming picks up where Derrida left off. Using both his early and later thought, and the psychoanalytic texts to which it is addressed, to examine the print culture of early modern England, she drastically unsettles some key assumptions of book history.

Fleming shows that the single most important lesson to survive from Derrida’s early work is that we do not know what writing is. Channeling Derrida’s thought into places it has not been seen before, she examines printed errors, spaces, and ornaments (topics that have hitherto been marginal to our accounts of print culture) and excavates the long-forgotten reading practice of cutting printed books. Proposing radical deformations to the meanings of fundamental and apparently simple terms such as “error,” “letter,” “surface,” and “cut,” Fleming opens up exciting new pathways into our understanding of writing all told.
 

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From the Publisher

“Cultural Graphology” could be the name of a new human science: this was Derrida’s speculation when, in the late 1960s, he imagined a discipline that combined psychoanalysis, deconstruction, and a commitment to the topic of writing. He never undertook the project himself but did leave two brief sketches of how he thought cultural graph...

Juliet Fleming is associate professor of English and director of the MA program in English at New York University. She is the author of Graffiti and the Writing Arts of Early Modern England.    
Format:HardcoverDimensions:176 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.8 inPublished:September 12, 2016Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022639042X

ISBN - 13:9780226390420

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
Introduction: From Grammatology to Cultural Graphology
1 The Psychopathology of Writing
2 Type Ornament
3 Sign Tailoring
4 Psychoanalytic Graphology
Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

“An impressively original and absorbing study. Fleming has a very good understanding of the way Derrida engages with issues such as writing, the trace, the mark, and the surface, and is never intimidated by his more extravagant gestures. Drawing on her deep knowledge of early modern materials, she brings into the realm of Derrida’s thinking a fresh set of examples, written with elegance and flair in a prose that moves with ease and skill among different kinds of discourse and between the abstract and concrete.”