Paul Earlie, Derrida and the Legacy of Psychoanalysis – Oxford University Press, February 2021
In Derrida and the Legacy of Psychoanalysis, Paul Earlie offers a detailed account of the importance of psychoanalysis in Derrida’s thought. Based on close readings of texts from the whole of his career, including less well-known and previously unpublished material, the title sheds new light on the crucial role of psychoanalysis in shaping Derrida’s response to a number of key questions. These questions range from the psyche’s relationship to technology to the role of fiction and metaphor in scientific discourse, and from the relationship between memory and the archive to the status of the political in deconstruction.
Focusing on Freud but proposing new readings of texts by Lacan, Torok and Abraham, Laplanche and Pontalis, amongst other seminal figures in contemporary French thought, Earlie argues that Derrida’s writings on psychoanalysis can also provide an important bridge between deconstruction and the recent materialist turn in the humanities. Challenging a still prevalent ‘textualist’ reading of Derrida’s work, he explores the ongoing contribution of deconstruction and psychoanalysis to pressing issues in critical thought today, from the localizing models of the neurosciences and the omnipresence of digital technology to the politics of affect in an age of terror.