The Event of the Thing: Derrida's Post-Deconstructive Realism

Michael Marder

© 2009

Jacques Derrida's writings often embed the key themes of deconstruction in a notion of the thing. The Event of the Thing is the most complete examination to date of Derrida's understanding of thinghood and its crucial role in psychoanalysis, ethics, literary theory, aesthetics, and Marxism.

Arguing that the thing, as a figure of otherness, destabilizes the metaphysical edifice it underlies, Michael Marder reveals the contributions it makes to critiques of humanism and idealism. Subsequently, the new realism that emerges from deconstruction holds the possibility of an event that problematizes all attempts to objectify the thing. An illuminating analysis of Derrida and phenomenology, The Event of the Thing is an innovative and compelling study of a crucial aspect of one of the twentieth century's greatest thinkers.

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  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
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  • Page Count: 186 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 0.8in x 9.5in
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Quick Overview

The Event of the Thing is the most complete examination to date of Derrida's understanding of thinghood and its crucial role in psychoanalysis, ethics, literary theory, aesthetics, and Marxism.

The Event of the Thing: Derrida's Post-Deconstructive Realism

Michael Marder

© 2009

Jacques Derrida's writings often embed the key themes of deconstruction in a notion of the thing. The Event of the Thing is the most complete examination to date of Derrida's understanding of thinghood and its crucial role in psychoanalysis, ethics, literary theory, aesthetics, and Marxism.

Arguing that the thing, as a figure of otherness, destabilizes the metaphysical edifice it underlies, Michael Marder reveals the contributions it makes to critiques of humanism and idealism. Subsequently, the new realism that emerges from deconstruction holds the possibility of an event that problematizes all attempts to objectify the thing. An illuminating analysis of Derrida and phenomenology, The Event of the Thing is an innovative and compelling study of a crucial aspect of one of the twentieth century's greatest thinkers.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 186 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 0.8in x 9.5in
  • Reviews

    The Event of the Thing by Michael Marder is probably one of the most comprehensive and integrative readings of Derrida’s oeuvre to date … Marder’s confident and elegant prose reveals an original style, distinctly different from Derrida’s and yet just as carefully performative and rhythmic.’
    Roy Ben-Shai Telos

    The Event of the Thing is a rigorous, innovative exposition of Derrida’s concept of the thing, which permeates his work. With reference to Derrida’s published and unpublished writings, Michael Marder accomplishes a thoughtful and exciting consideration of what is a major thread in Derrida’s corpus. Marder’s excellent scholarship is of singular importance.’
    John Leavey, Department of English, University of Florida

    The Event of the Thing is an original and important work that demonstrates for the first time how Derrida radically rethinks the tradition of the thing in philosophy, psychoanalysis, and aesthetics.&rsquo
    Sean Gaston, Department of English, Brunel University

    ‘Michael Marder’s book is an example of what philosophy should be in the twenty-first century. Similar to Tugendhat’s analysis of the Heideggerian concept of truth, Rorty’s endorsement of Dewey’s politics, or Vattimo’s interpretation of the Nietzschean Overman, Marder has produced a singular reading of Derrida’s notion of the “thing” and paved the way towards a highly original post-deconstructive realism.’
    Santiago Zabala, ICREA Research Professor, University of Barcelona
  • Author Information

    Michael Marder is an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy at Duquesne University.

  • Table of contents

    Table of Contents
    Acknowledgements 4
    Introduction Hoc nihil ad rem 6
    Chapter I: The Event of the Thing: 'Ereignis in Abyss' 13

    I.1. Protocols of the thing: That the event will have been possible 14
    I.1.1 It's virtually happening… 15
    I.1.2 Double affirmative, double perhaps 24
    I.2. In-to the things themselves! 33
    I.2.1 'What' 'is' 'inside' 'the' 'thing'? 33
    I.2.2 The event of expropriation, or how the thing 'spirits away' 41
    I.3. The literary and the poetic: A name without the thing and the things without a name 50

    Chapter II: 'This Thing Regards Us': The Promise of 'Reified' Intentionality 60

    II.1. The real of intentionality and the intentionality of the real 61
    II.1.1 The real of intentionality: Noema and hyle 61
    II.1.2 The intentionality of the real: Res nostra agitur 67
    II.2. The thing of the senses 78
    II.2.1 Not-hearing-oneself-speak 78
    II.2.2 The imperative for thinking the hand 86
    II.3. Being read: Under the eye of the text 93

    Chapter III: Deconstruction of Fetishism: The Love and the Work of the Thing 101

    III.1. For the love of the thing: Derrida's psychoanalysis 102
    III.1.1 Who/what is analyzed in psychoanalysis? 103
    III.1.2 Psychoanalysis and resistance–of the (non-idealized) mother 111
    III.1.3 How to love the thing, or what does psychoanalysis resist? 122
    III.2. The thing at work: On commodity fetishism, or the “phenomenology of value” 130
    III.2.1 The enframing (of) value 130
    III.2.2 Money, credit, and other 'counterfeit things' 140
    III.2.3 Becoming-thing of the thing, becoming-world of the world 148

    Chapter IV: On the Thing that Deconstructs Aesthetics 154

    IV.1. Style, the signature of the thing 155
    IV.1.1 The point of style 155
    IV.1.2 Spongy stones, stony sponges, and the countersignature of the thing 160
    IV.1.3 Painting with an auto-affective eye (“double vision”) 165
    IV.2. Subjectile, the 'epoch' of the thing 172
    IV.2.1 Reductio ad rerum: In the memory of… 172
    IV.2.2 Thrown together: The artist and the thing 178
    IV.2.3 Instead of arriving: 'The bottom without bottom of things' 186
    IV.3. Parergon, the thing alongside the work 192

    Conclusion: Post-Deconstructive Realism: Of What Remains 199

    Abbreviation Key 209

    Notes 213

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