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Centre for Research in Philosophy and Literature

Very Little... Almost Nothing: Death, Philosophy, Literature

Simon Critchley
Warwick Studies in European Philosophy

'Simon Critchley's readings of Schlegel, Blanchot and Beckett are remarkably nuanced and perceptive. Much more than an excellent companion to the study of the intertwinings of philosophy and literature, it is an admirable meditation on the ubiquity of finitude and its ungraspability.'
Jacques Taminiaux, Boston College

'Altogether beautifully written, with rich and deep insights. It is the most original and enlightening book I know about the so-called nihilism of present times and its genealogy and a key book for the understanding of the contemporary condition of man.'
Michel Haar, Université de Paris

Very Little... Almost Nothing is a passionate and challenging philosophical defence of the very question of the meaning of life. Following the nihilism that has accompanied the 'death of God' and characterized much of modernity, Simon Critchley argues that the key question becomes a matter finding a meaning to human finitude without recourse to anything that transcends that finitude.

Very Little... Almost Nothing explores this question through key philosophers such as Blanchot and Levinas. Simon Critchley also draws out the philosophical significance of Cavell's reading of romanticism and the presence of death in Beckett's work, criucial but often overlooked themes in contemporary philosophy.

A compelling reading of the convergence of literature and philosophy, Very Little... Almost Nothing opens up new ways of understanding finitude, modernity and the nature of the imagination.

Simon Critchley is Reader in Philosophy at the University of Essex.