Clang

2020
Author:

Jacques Derrida
Translated by Geoffrey Bennington and David Wills

Clang

A new translation of Derrida’s groundbreaking juxtaposition of Hegel and Genet, forcing two incompatible discourses into dialogue with each other

Jacques Derrida’s famously challenging book Glas puts the practice of philosophy and the very acts of writing and reading to the test. Presented here in an entirely new translation as Clang—its title resonating like the sound of an alarm or death knell—this book brilliantly juxtaposes Hegel’s totalizing, hierarchical system of thought with Genet’s autobiographical, carceral erotics.

Jacques Derrida’s famously challenging book Glas puts the practice of philosophy and the very acts of writing and reading to the test. Formatted with parallel texts, its left column discusses G. W. F. Hegel and its right column engages Jean Genet, with numerous notes and interpolations in the margins. The resulting work, published for the first time in French in 1974, is a collage that practices theoretical thinking as a form of grafting.

Presented here in an entirely new translation as Clang—its title resonating like the sound of an alarm or death knell—this book brilliantly juxtaposes Hegel’s totalizing, hierarchical system of thought with Genet’s autobiographical, carceral erotics. It innovatively forces two incompatible discourses into dialogue with each other: philosophical and literary, familial and perverse, logical and sensory.

In both content and structure, Clang heightens the significance of all encounters across ruptures of thought or experience and vibrates with the impact of discordant languages colliding.
Clang

Jacques Derrida (1930–2004) was Director of Studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris and professor of humanities at the University of California, Irvine.

Geoffrey Bennington is Asa G. Candler Professor of Modern French Thought at Emory University. He has translated several books by Derrida and is coeditor of The Seminars of Jacques Derrida series, as well as author of many books on philosophical, literary, and theoretical topics.

David Wills is professor of French and comparative literature at Brown University. He is the translator of several works by Derrida and author of Dorsality: Thinking Back through Technology and Politics and Inanimation: Theories of Inorganic Life, both from Minnesota.
Clang

Contents

French Edition Insert

Translators’ Preface

Clang