Derrida on the Mend
Purdue University Press, 1984 - 238 sider
The pun built into its title, Derrida on the Mend, suggests the thesis of this book. Derrida is indeed astride the "mend" whereby logocentrists (theorists who believe in "organic unity") think to repair the "rents" in organicism. Derrida is indeed devouring the mend, but his quandary is that he must use logic (a logocentric operation) to do so. For Derrida to be "on the mend" in the other sense activating the pun, a means must be found to heal the quandary while preserving deconstruction. This book argues for such a means: the author finds in Nagarjuna, a Buddhist rationalist of the first century A.D, the same three deconstructive techniques used by Derrida. Nagarjuna, however, is able to reinstate logic and organicism while continuing the deconstructive process. He does so through his specialized versions of the Buddhist "two truths," a solution which our author adopts, adapts, and universalizes.
The book has four parts. The first provides a lengthy explication and critique of Derrida, a service still much needed by today's philosophers and literary theorists. The second part locates a recension of Heideggerian thought at a site the author calls centric mysticism. Throughout this section, there are original applications to literature. The third part presents the full-scale analysis of Nagarjunist technique, and then goes on to develop a differential Zen contrasting very much with the centric Zen of Suzuki. Replete with treatments of Buddhist poetry, it is bound to be of great interest to Buddhologists. The fourth part applies differentialism to monotheism and Christian theology and develops a nonentitative trinitarianism, which will revise, it is hoped, contemporary theology significantly. Two appendices, in a concrete way, apply to literary theory and criticism what the author has worked out in the body of the book.