Michel Foucault refers to 1965-1970 as, in philosophical terms, 'the five brief, impassioned, jubilant, enigmatic years'. This book reinterprets Jacques Derrida's work from this period, most especially in L'Ã‰criture et la Différence (Writing and Difference), and argues that a transformation takes place here which has been marginalized in readings of his work to date. Irwin follows with a look at how the 'grammatological opening' becomes crucial for Derrida's work in the 1970s and beyond, incorporating one of his last readings of embodiment from 2000. By drawing our attention to the politics of desire and sexuality, this groundbreaking book engages with the work of key continental theorists, including Artaud, Bataille, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Habermas and Cixous, whilst also examining Derrida's relationship with Plato and feminist theory. It will appeal to a wide range of readers within the social sciences and philosophy, particularly those with interests in gender and sexuality, social theory, continental thought, queer studies and literary theory.
Jones Irwin is Lecturer in Philosophy and Human Development at St. Patrick's College, Dublin City University, Ireland
A remarkable book that forcefully and convincingly argues that central to Derrida’s thought are issues of embodiment and sexuality. Jones Irwin begins with a nuanced and well-argued analysis of 'Derrida’s debt to Artaud and moves on to examine the important role Bataille and Mallarme play in Derrida’s deconstruction of embodiment and desire. With two extraordinary chapters on Derrida and feminism, including a long discussion of deconstruction’s contributions to queer theory, this is an essential book not only for serious readers of Derrida, but for all those engaged with issues of embodiment, desire, and politics.' Peg Birmingham, DePaul University Chicago, USA 'Irwin has undertaken a daunting task in endeavouring to bring clarity of vision to Derrida’s works. [His] explanations of his texts in relation to the body, its deconstruction, the politics of the body (particularly in terms of disempowerment and value) and feminist related concepts are well supported and easily understood by any student across the various disciplines this work covers.' M/C Reviews 'Irwin's concise and illuminating introduction contains not only a justification for his project but also for his methodology and choice of texts... Irwin combines a well considered mix of academic inquiry and language in order to be intellectually stimulating and thought provoking, with a helpful amount of background knowledge to help foreground the key issues of the debate, making the book suitable for undergraduates through to more senior Derridean or performance and gender studies theorists. By providing this well researched introduction, Irwin offers new starting points from which to re-enter and re-engage with some of Derrida's major, and less major, works.' Somatechnics