Jacques Derrida continues to be the world's single most influential philosophical and literary theorist. He is also one of the most controversial and most complex. His own works and critical studies of his work proliferate, but where can a student, utterly new to the work of Derrida, start?
Understanding Derrida is written as an introduction to the full range of Derrida's key ideas and influences. It brings together the world's leading authorities on Derrida, each writing a short, accessible essay on one central aspect of his work. Framed by a clear introduction and a complete bibliography of Derrida's publications in English, the essays systematically analyze one aspect of Derrida's work, each essay including a quick summary of Derrida's books which have addressed this theme, guiding the student towards a direct engagement with Derrida's texts.
The essays cover language, metaphysics, the subject, politics, ethics, the decision, translation, religion, psychoanalysis, literature, art, and Derrida's seminal relationship to other philosophers, namely Husserl, Heidegger, Levinas, Hegel and Nietzsche.
"The most important offering for assessing Derrida's contribution to philosophy is Reynolds and Roffe's Understanding Derrida, which brings together introductory pieces from important philosophers and Derrida scholars, including David Allison, Robert Bernasconi, and Simon Critchley...By extracting the properly philosophical elements of Derrida's work, Reynolds and Roffe have produced a careful invitation that truly and compellingly shows Derrida to be a serious philosopher we should study and from whom we can learn." -Edvard Lorkovic, Philosophy in Review