Multilingual Wordplay : Babellian Overdetermination & the Philosophical Poetics of Jacques Derrida

Brendon Wocke


Interpretations of the work of French post-structuralist Jacques Derrida continue to undergo displacement, transformation, and appropriation in American academies. This is due, in part, to the intellectual atmosphere of American academies in the 1960s and 70s, but also, to the precarious nature of the translation of his work. This article examines the effects of multilingualism and wordplay on the aesthetic and poetic experience of Derrida’s texts. The linguistic and semantic complexity of his philosophical poetics generates a resistance to the text that continues to evoke philosophic questions concerning the nature of language in a polyphonic narrative.


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