Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression

Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression

Paperback Religion & Postmodernism (Paperback)

By (author) Jacques Derrida, Translated by Eric Prenowitz

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  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Format: Paperback | 122 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 214mm x 10mm | 222g
  • Publication date: 29 October 1998
  • Publication City/Country: Chicago, IL
  • ISBN 10: 0226143678
  • ISBN 13: 9780226143675
  • Sales rank: 51,338

Product description

In this work, Jacques Derrida guides the reader through an extended meditation on remembrance, religion, time, and technology - all occasioned by a deconstructive analysis of the notion of archiving. The archival concept has played a pivotal role in numerous critical debates - a place of origin, yet of perpetuity, a place of stasis and order, yet of discovery, the notion of archive houses a complex of diverse, and often disparate, meanings. As a depository of civic record and social history whose very name derives from the Greek word for town hall, the archive would seem to be a public entity, yet it is stocked with the personal, even intimate, artifacts of private lives. This inherent tension between public and private inaugurates, argues Derrida, an inquiry into the human impulse to preserve, through technology as well as tradition, both a historical and a psychic past.

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Back cover copy

In his latest work, Jacques Derrida deftly guides us through an extended meditation on remembrance, religion, time, and technology - all fruitfully occasioned by a deconstructive analysis of the notion of archiving. The archival concept has of late played a pivotal role in critical debate. A place of origin, yet of perpetuity, a place of stasis and order, yet of discovery, the notion of archive houses a fascinating complex of diverse, and often disparate, meanings. As a depository of civic record and social history whose very name derives from the Greek word for town hall, the archive would seem to be a public entity, yet it is stocked with the personal, even intimate, artifacts of private lives. It is this inherent tension between public and private which inaugurates, for Derrida, an inquiry into the human impulse to preserve, through technology as well as tradition, both a historical and a psychic past. What emerges is a marvelous expansive work, engaging at once Judaic mythos, Freudian psychoanalysis, and Marxist materialism in a profound reflection on the real, the unreal, and the virtual. Intrigued by the evocative relationship between technologies of inscription and psychic processes, Derrida offers for the first time a major statement on the pervasive impact of electronic media, particularly e-mail, which threaten to transform the entire public and private space of humanity. Plying this rich material with characteristic virtuosity, Derrida constructs a synergistic reading of archives and archiving, both provocative and compelling.