Book Review: Strangers, Gods and Monsters

Strangers, Gods and Monsters: Interpreting OthernessStrangers, Gods and Monsters: Interpreting Otherness by Richard Kearney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was blown away by this book. I’m so glad I picked it up. The themes are all over the place, yet so well organized and transitioned that you don’t realize you just went from talking about the Twin Towers to the origins of Father Time.

A quote from the book that I am still mulling over because I don’t know what to do with it:

“Derrida warns against the notion of ‘reconciliation’ as a premature restoration of a ‘normal’ past Certain reconciliation and truth tribunals may, in their rush to forgiveness, not only betray the immemorial suffering of the dead victims but also engage in a facility of compulsive public mourning which Derrida puts down to the dominant sway in our time of a ‘psychotherapeutic economy’. Moreover, the temptation to resolve past horrors by means of some redemptive ‘master narrative’ of universal pardon often ignores those ‘others’ who are suppressed within this narrative or excluded from it altogether. For the very community (any community for that matter) which seeks to dispense such an amnesty is invariably plagued by ‘gaps’ in its own memory – ‘hunted by the ghosts of those who were either colonized, expelled, or killed in its name’. In critical response to this practice of exclusion and oblivion, deconstruction proposes to sensitize us to the ‘faceless and nameless who have been buried beneath the weight of officially to us in the form of a Grand Narrative’. This requires, the deconstructionists tell us, a special ‘micrological’ attention to those ghosts and specters who have been exiled from the annals of official narrative history.”

Page 184 Richard Kearney Strangers, Gods and Monsters.

View all my reviews

The only thing I can say against it is…that title, dude. Use the Oxford comma next time, won’t you?


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