Vilém Flusser (1920–1991) has long been known and celebrated in Europe and Brazil primarily as a media theorist. Only recently have other facets of his accomplishments come to light, clearly establishing Flusser as a key thinker.
An accessible and thorough introduction to Flusser’s thought, this book reveals his engagement with a wide array of disciplines, from communication studies, posthuman philosophy, media studies, and history to art and art history, migrant studies, anthropology, and film studies. The first to connect Flusser’s entire oeuvre, this volume shows how his works on media theory are just one part of a greater mosaic of writings that bring to the fore cultural and cognitive changes concerning all of us in the twenty-first century.
A theorist deeply influenced by his experiences as a privileged citizen of Prague, a Jew pursued by the Nazis, a European emigrant, a Brazilian immigrant, and a survivor keenly interested and invested in history and memory, Vilém Flusser was an outsider in a staunchly hierarchical and disciplined academic world.
Published in 1967, when Derrida is 37 years old, Voice and Phenomenon appears at the same moment as Of Grammatology and Writing and Difference. All three books announce the new philosophical project called “deconstruction.” Although Derrida will later regret the fate of the term “deconstruction,” he will use it throughout his career to define his own thinking. While Writing and Difference collects essays written over a 10 year period on diverse figures and topics, and Of Grammatology aims its deconstruction at “the age of Rousseau,” Voice and Phenomenon shows deconstruction engaged with the most important philosophical movement of the last hundred years: phenomenology.
Only in relation to phenomenology is it possible to measure the importance of deconstruction. Only in relation to Husserl’s philosophy is it possible to understand the novelty of Derrida’s thinking. Voice and Phenomenon therefore may be the best introduction to Derrida’s thought in general. To adapt Derrida’s comment on Husserl’s Logical Investigations, it contains “the germinal structure” of Derrida’s entire thought. Lawlor’s fresh translation of Voice and Phenomenon brings new life to Derrida’s most seminal work.