The book makes available for the first time in English-and for the first time in its entirety in any language-an important yet little known interview that Jacques Derrida granted on the question of photography and its relation to such key deconstructive concepts as copy, archive, and signature.
About the Author
Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) was Director of Studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and Professor of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine. Among the most recent of his many books to have been translated into English are the two volumes of Psyche: Inventions of the Other (Stanford, 2007 and 2008). Gerhard Richter is Professor of German and Director of the Graduate Program in Critical Theory at the University of California, Davis. He is the author of Thought-Images: Frankfurt School Writers' Reflections from Damaged Life (Stanford, 2007). Jeff Fort is Assistant Professor of French at the University of California, Davis.
"Behind Derrida's remarks on photography stands a vast philosophical knowledge, as well as a keen interest in contemporary media and technology. Richter's introduction admirably situates the discussion both with respect to Derrida's overall work and with reference to certain contemporary interpretations of photography. I can hardly imagine another discussion of photography that would display the same theoretical and philosophical breath and incisiveness that Derrida and his partners bring to bear on the subject."—Samuel Weber, European Graduate School
"The interview that composes this exquisite little book demonstrates again why Derrida remains one of our most cherished resources. Suggesting that we did not have to wait for the invention of photography to learn what it can teach us about memory, inscription, death, mourning, and even love—this is why he can associate the medium with thought in general—Derrida's meditations not only comprehend and anticipate recent developments in reproductive technologies, but they also tell us why we must remain today as concerned with photography's past and present as with its future."—Eduardo Cadava, Princeton University