chapter  2
50 Pages

: Monolinguism and Literature

Many of Jacques Derrida’s readers have noticed that in addition to being a philosopher, he is also a literary talent who has been enormously creative with the styles and forms that essays can take. Indeed, over the past three decades he has reinvented the academic essay as a literary form and has written, dare one say, “masterpieces” that show us the vast creative potential of academic essay writing that had previously been overlooked. “Plato’s Pharmacy,” “The Double Session,” “The White Mythology,” and “Restitutions,” as well as the tandem essays that constitute Glas, are well-known representatives of this achievement. It is therefore not surprising that by the 1980s Derrida’s stature enabled him to call attention to the significance of his revitalization of the essay form by publishing some of his essays separately as monographs-among them, On a Newly Arisen Apocalyptic Tone in Philosophy, Schibboleth, and Of Spirit. During the 1990s, more of his essaymonographs were published, among the most notable being The Other Heading, Force de loi, Archive Fever, Monolinguism of the Other, Adieu to Emmanuel Lévinas, and Demeure.