Geneses, Genealogies, Genres, and Genius

The Secrets of the Archive

Jacques Derrida. Translated by Beverley Bie Brahic

Columbia University Press

Geneses, Genealogies, Genres, and Genius

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Pub Date: October 2008

ISBN: 9780231139793

128 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $26.00£20.00

Pub Date: December 2006

ISBN: 9780231139786

128 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $75.00£58.00

Geneses, Genealogies, Genres, and Genius

The Secrets of the Archive

Jacques Derrida. Translated by Beverley Bie Brahic

Columbia University Press

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Jacques Derrida argues that the feminist and intellectual Hélène Cixous is the most important writer working within the French idiom today. To prove this, he elucidates the epistemological and historical interconnectedness of four terms: genesis, genealogy, genre, and genius, and how they pertain to or are implicated in Cixous's work.

Derrida explores Cixous's genius (a masculine term in French, he is quick to point out) and the inspiration that guides and informs her writing. He marvels at her skillful working within multiple genres. He focuses on a number of her works, including her extraordinary novel Manhattan and her lyrical and evocative Dream I Tell You, a book addressed to Derrida himself and one in which Cixous presents a series of her dreams. Derrida also delves into the nature of the literary archive, the production of literature, and the importance of the poetic and sexual difference to the entirety of his own work.

For forty years, Derrida had a close personal and intellectual relationship with Hélène Cixous. Clever, playful, and eloquent, Geneses, Genealogies, Genres, and Genius charts the influence these two critical giants had on each other and is the most vital work to address Cixous's contribution to French thought.

About the Author

Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) was one of the twentieth century's most prolific and influential philosophers. He was director d'etudes at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris and professor of humanities at the University of California, Irvine. Among the most recent of his many books to be translated into English are Eyes of the University; Rogues: Two Essays on Reason; and On Touching: Jean-Luc Nancy.

Beverley Bie Brahic is a translator and poet living in Paris.