The Creation of the World or Globalization

By Jean-Luc Nancy
Translated by François Raffoul, David Pettigrew
Introduction by François Raffoul, and David Pettigrew

Subjects: French Studies
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary French Thought
Paperback : 9780791470268, 137 pages, March 2007
Hardcover : 9780791470251, 137 pages, March 2007

Table of contents

Translators’ Acknowledgments
Translators’ Introduction

Author’s Prefatory Note to the English Language Edition         
Author’s Prefatory Note to the French Language Edition

I. Urbi et Orbi

II. Of Creation

III. Creation as Denaturation: Metaphysical Technology

IV. Complements


Philosophical reflections on the phenomenon of globalization.


Appearing in English for the first time, Jean-Luc Nancy's 2002 book reflects on globalization and its impact on our being-in-the-world. Developing a contrast in the French language between two terms that are usually synonymous, or that are used interchangeably, namely globalisation (globalization) and mondialisation (world-forming), Nancy undertakes a rethinking of what "world-forming" might mean. At stake in this distinction is for him nothing less than two possible destinies of our humanity, and of our time. On the one hand, with globalization, there is the uniformity produced by a global economical and technological logic leading to the contrary of an inhabitable world, "the un-world" (l'im-monde)—as Nancy refers to it—an un-world that entails social disintegration, misery, and injustice. And, on the other hand, there is the possibility of an authentic world-forming, that is, of a making of the world and of a making sense that Nancy calls a "creation" of the world. Nancy understands such world-forming in terms of an inexhaustible struggle for justice. This book is an important contribution by Nancy to a philosophical reflection on the phenomenon of globalization and a further development on his earlier works on our being-in-common, justice, and a-theological existence.

Jean-Luc Nancy is Professor of Political Philosophy and Media Aesthetics at the European Graduate School in Switzerland. He is the coauthor (with Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe) of The Title of the Letter: A Reading of Lacan and The Literary Absolute: The Theory of Literature in German Romanticism, both also published, in translation, by SUNY Press. François Raffoul is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Louisiana State University, and David Pettigrew is Professor of Philosophy at Southern Connecticut State University. In addition to translating The Title of the Letter, they have translated many other books, including The Book of Love and Pain: Thinking at the Limit with Freud and Lacan by Juan-David Nasio, also published by SUNY Press.


"…the writer has developed a unique interpretation of subjectivity and experience as a critical basis for rethinking community … It is impossible not to be impressed by a book in which nothing, from the poetics of the writing to the final proposition, is overemphasized or strained." — Social & Legal Studies

"…recently translated into English … the book reframes a question from earlier days; what does it mean to exist with others in a world whose disparate global parts are increasingly being brought together and unified?" — The Kelvingrove Review

"Graced by a lucid introduction from his superb translators, Jean-Luc Nancy's The Creation of the World or Globalization plots the creative world-forming possibilities by which, in the name of a certain justice, the nihilism of globalization may be resisted. The future of the world hangs in the balance; Nancy makes a brilliant contribution to thinking new beginnings." — David Wood, author of The Step Back: Ethics and Politics after Deconstruction