The Textual Sublime

Deconstruction and Its Differences

Edited by Hugh J. Silverman & Gary E. Aylesworth

Subjects: Literary Criticism
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary Studies in Philosophy and Literature, SUNY series, International Association of Philosophy and Literature (IAPL)
Paperback : 9780791400753, 294 pages, January 1990
Hardcover : 9780791400746, 294 pages, January 1990

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Table of contents



Hugh J. Silverman

I. Deconstruction and Criticism

Preliminary Remarks

Gary E. Aylesworth

1. The Choice of Deconstruction

Christopher Fynsk

2. Is Deconstruction an Alternative?

Kathryn Kinczewski

3. Does Deconstruction Make Any Difference?

Michael Fischer

II. Deconstruction and Philosophy

Preliminary Remarks

4. Ending/Closure: On Derrida's Margining of Heidegger

Eugenio Donato

5. The Possibility of Literary Deconstruction: A Reply to Eugenio Donato

David Wood

6. Derrida and Heidegger: The Interlacing of Texts

Tina Chanter

Ill. Philosophy and Criticism

Preliminary Remarks

7. The Différance Between Derrida and de Man

Irene E. Harvey

8. Phenomenality and Materiality in Kant

Paul de Man

9. On Mere Sight: A Response to Paul de Man

Rodolphe Gasché

IV. The Rhetoric and Practice of Deconstruction

Preliminary Remarks

10. Paul de Man and the Subject of Literary History

Gregory S. Jay

11. Recovering the Figure of J. L. Austin in Paul de Man's Allegories of Reading

Brian G. Caraher

12. The Anxiety of American Deconstruction

Howard Felperin

V. Deconstructing Translation

Preliminary Remarks

13. Around and About Babel

Joseph E Graham

14. The Différance of Translation

David B. Allison

15. Lations, Cor, Trans, Re,&c.*

John P. Leavey, Jr.

VI. Alternatives to Deconstruction

Preliminary Remarks

16. Derrida's Epistemology

Antony Easthope

17. The Critical Difference: Adorno's Aesthetic Alternative

Wilhelm S. Wurzer

18. Poststructuralist Alternatives to Deconstruction

Arnaud Villani


Selected Bibliography





This book addresses the question of deconstruction by asking what it is and discussing its alternatives. To what extent does deconstruction derive from a philosophical stance, and to what extent does it depend upon a set of strategies, moves, and rhetorical practices that result in criticism? Special attention is given to the formulations offered by Jacques Derrida (in relation to Heidegger's philosophy) and by Paul de Man (in relation to Kant's theory of the sublime and its implications for criticism). And what, in deconstructive terms, does it mean to translate from one textual corpus into another? Is it a matter of different theories of translation or of different practices? And what of difference itself? Does not difference already invoke the possibility of deconstruction's "others"? Althusser, Adorno, and Deleuze are offered as exemplary cases. The essays in this volume examine in detail these differences and alternatives.

The Textual Sublime is particularly concerned with how a text (philosophical or literary) sets its own limits, borders, and margins, how it delimits what constitutes the text per se and how it invokes at the same time what is not determinately in the text. The textual sublime is that aspect of a text that deconstruction shows to be both an element of the text and what surpasses the text, what takes it outside itself (in view of alternatives and alterities) and what ties it to differing philosophical, rhetorical, historical, and critical practices.

Hugh J. Silverman is Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Literature at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. He is co-editor of Hermeneutics and Deconstruction and Postmodernism and Continental Philosophy, both published by SUNY Press. Gary E. Aylesworth is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Illinois.