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The Fall of Sleep


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About the Author

Jean-Luc Nancy (1940-2021) was Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Universite Marc Bloch, Strasbourg. His wide-ranging thought runs through many books, including Being Singular Plural, The Ground of the Image, Corpus, The Disavowed Community, and Sexistence. His "The Intruder" was adapted into a film by Claire Denis. Charlotte Mandell has translated more than forty books and is the recipient of numerous awards.


"The Fall of Sleep is Nancy's most lyrical, most beautiful work. It is also acute in tracing the limits of a phenomenology of sleep: for sleep is the disappearance of the self. Yet that dark self is also the Kantian thing in itself. So proposes Nancy in his noumenology of sleep..." -- -Kevin Hart The University of Virginia "... [A] brief siesta of an inquiry into slumber." -The Times Literary Supplement "A truly original examination of the most universally overlooked human experience." -- -Sarah Clift University of King's College, Halifax "A quarter-century ago Jean-Luc Nancy remarked that "Sleep, perhaps, has never been philosophical." Philosophy, after all, ruins sleep. In The Fall of Sleep Nancy explores the singularities of sleep as (among other things) an experience of freedom and a sojourn for lovers. The book is exemplary of Nancy's practice of finite thinking-thinking without concepts, categories, and other philosophical machinery. And in the bargain we have another superb translation by Charlotte Mandell." -- -Gerald L. Bruns University of Notre Dame "What happens to the subject when sleep descends? If philosophy has always supposed consciousness, what happens in the "fall of sleep," when intention, will, deliberation and its correlates are suspended? Nancy traces, not an absence of subjectivity, but another formation of the "I" in this meditative text -- part thesis and part reverie, as much a nocturne as a treatise -- and guides us toward the province of Morpheus." -- -Charles Shepherdson University at Abany, State University of New York "A beguiling set of reflections on a topic that has to be among those most resistant to philosophy and philosophizing: sleep. After reading Nancy, one will think differently about this enigmatic fact of life and how we talk about it." -- -Ian Balfour York University

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