The Beast and the Sovereign, Volume II

Hardcover | October 15, 2011

byJacques Derrida

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Following on from The Beast and the Sovereign, Volume I, this book extends Jacques Derrida’s exploration of the connections between animality and sovereignty.  In this second year of the seminar, originally presented in 2002–2003 as the last course he would give before his death, Derrida focuses on two markedly different texts: Heidegger’s 1929–1930 course The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics, and Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. As he moves back and forth between the two works, Derrida pursuesthe relations between solitude, insularity, world, violence, boredom and death as they supposedly affect humans and animals in different ways.
 
Hitherto unnoticed or underappreciated aspects of Robinson Crusoe are brought out in strikingly original readings of questions such as Crusoe’s belief in ghosts, his learning to pray, his parrot Poll, and his reinvention of the wheel. Crusoe’s terror of being buried alive or swallowed alive by beasts or cannibals gives rise to a rich and provocative reflection on death, burial, and cremation, in part provoked by a meditation on the death of Derrida’s friend Maurice Blanchot.  Throughout, these readings are juxtaposed with interpretations of Heidegger's concepts of world and finitude to produce a distinctively Derridean account that will continue to surprise his readers.

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Following on from The Beast and the Sovereign, Volume I, this book extends Jacques Derrida’s exploration of the connections between animality and sovereignty.  In this second year of the seminar, originally presented in 2002–2003 as the last course he would give before his death, Derrida focuses on two markedly different texts: Heidegg...

Jacques Derrida (1930–2004) was director of studies at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris, and professor of humanities at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of many books published by the University of Chicago Press. Geoffrey Bennington is Asa G. Candler Professor of Modern French Thought at Emo...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:October 15, 2011Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226144305

ISBN - 13:9780226144306

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Foreword to the English Edition
General Introduction to the French Edition
Editorial Note

First Session   December 11, 2002
Second Session  December 18, 2002
Third Session  January 12, 2003
Fourth Session  January 29, 2003
Fifth Session   February 5, 2003
Sixth Session  February 12, 2003
Seventh Session  February 26, 2003
Eighth Session  March 5, 2003
Ninth Session  March 12, 2003
Tenth Session  March 26, 2003

Index of Names

Editorial Reviews

“The second volume of The Beast and the Sovereign, a meticulously edited transcript of the seminar’s second year (2002–03), shows us a different though complementary and perhaps more essential Derrida, a forensically close reader. . . . What Derrida seeks to highlight in both Defoe’s and Heidegger’s texts is the precariousness and fragility of the purportedly stable borders demarcating the human from the animal. The fantasy of sovereign solitude is always secretly feeding off the bestial other it wants to banish.”