The final Booktalk for this term is with Chiara Alfano (Kingston) where she will be discussing material from her upcoming book, under contract with Edinburgh University Press for their Critical Studies in Shakespeare and Philosophy series. The talk, and the book, is currently titled Derrida Reads Shakespeare. We will convene at our usual place in the Gallery of the Rose Theatre, Kingston on Dec 8 starting at 6.30pm. As always, it is free and open to everyone!
Here is an abstract for the session:
Derrida’s work on Shakespeare has attracted much criticism, even derision. Some critics wondered about the whereabouts of historical context, whilst others lamented that there was something “bloodless” about Derrida’s way of cutting up the bard’s words. Through an examination of “Aphorism Countertime,” amongst other of Derrida’s engagements with the plays, I will seek to vindicate his “contretemporal” approach and his seemingly irreverent dealings with Shakespeare’s words. I will also argue that Derrida’s singular understanding of “the body” or “blood” of a text represents a powerful and incisive criticism of a certain privileging of not merely “the human” but “humanity” which underlies many previous philosophical approaches to Shakespeare.