' This is a very brave book ...it makes philosophical conversation possible again after two decades of pragmatist intolerance.' - Roger Poole, Parallax '(T)his is an often beautifully written philosophical act of mourning ...It also commands respect because it obliges one to examine the fictions one employs to avoid really doing philosophy. Critchley's steadfastly post-Kantian rejection of theological answers to the questions he asks is very welcome.' - Andrew Bowie , Radical Philosophy 'Very Little ...Almost Nothing manages with some aplomb, to pull off the extraordinarily difficult task of saying something new and interesting about Beckett and Blanchot.' - Martin McQuillan, New Formations ' Critchley keeps his writings for the most part powerful and elegant, wide-ranging but well-focussed. The book is at all times sibylline, moving, insightful, explorative.' - Colin Davis, French Studies Very Little ...Almost Nothing puts the question of the meaning of life back at the centre of intellectual debate. Its central concern is how we can find a meaning to human finitude without recourse to anything that transcends that finitude.
A profound but secular meditation on the theme of death, Critchley traces the idea of nihilism through Blanchot, Levinas, Jena Romanticism and Cavell, culminating in a reading of Beckett, in many ways the hero of the book. For this Second Edition, Simon Critchley has added a revealing and extended new preface, and a new chapter on Wallace Stevens which reflects on the idea of poetry as 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, Universite de Paris 'A wonderfully lucid and readable account of the issues that, despite the modesty of Simon Critchley's title, are of infinite concern and urgency to thought today.
His book deserves to be debated at length not only by those who have an interest in philosophy, but by everyone ...whether their involvement is in literary criticism, literary theory, or simply in reading itself ...who has a care for the possibilities and the demands of tomorrow.' - Leslie Hill, University of Warwick
Simon Critchley is Professor of Philosophy in the Graduate Faculty, New School University, New York and at the University of Essex. He is author and editor of many books including The Ethics of Deconstruction and On Humour
(also published by Routledge).