Michel de Certeau: Interpretation and Its Other
July 2013, Polity
This book represents the first full-length study of Certeau's
thought. It is organized around the central theme of interpretation
and alterity, which Ahearne uses to illuminate Certeau's work as a
whole. The author also examines Certeau's theory and practice of
historiography; his reflection on the relations between changing
historical forms of writing, reading and orality; and his
distinction between the "strategic" programmes of the politically
powerful and the "tactics" of the relatively powerless.
Ahearne places Certeau's work in its general intellectual
context, relating it to the views of important contemporary
thinkers, such as Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault, and
demonstrating the decisive importance to Certeau's thought of the
writings of the early modern mystics and travellers.
This book constitutes an excellent critical introduction to Certeau's work, while also providing a comprehensive and nuanced reading for those already familiar with his thought.
Part I: Implications:.
1. The Historiographical Operation.
2. Interpretation and its Archaeology.
Part II: Fables:.
3. Voices in the Text.
Part III: Strategies and Tactics:.
5. Strategic Operations.
6. Turns and Diversions.
- This is the first full-length study of Michel de Certeau's thought
- Provides both an excellent critical introduction to Certeau's work and a comprehensive analysis for readers already familiar with Certeau's work
- The author relates Certeau's work to the views of important key contemporary thinkers such as Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault
- An important contribution to our Key Contemporary Thinkers Series.
"Polity is to be congratulated for its vision ... an important
victory for the still fledgling field of de Certeau studies."
"A coherent and faithful account of Certeau's thought on the
methodology of properly conducted enquiries into social
organization ... it grapples conscientiously with the intricacy of
thought and language to which modern French thinkers have often
felt it necessary to have recourse ... contains often lucid and
penetrating insights." The Heythrop Journal
"The first full length study [with] an overview of recurring
themes that will be of interest to those new to this complex
thinker and to those already versed in some aspects. We are taken
through a detailed questioning of the very possibilities of
knowledge and of communication with others." Times Higher
"[An] excellent ... first full-length study." Year's Work in
Critical and Cultural Theory
"This generous, beautifully argued work of synthesis and
interpretation should lead us to Certeau's own writings."
American Historical Review
"Ahearne has succeeded in presenting us with a clearly written and well argued text, without ever reducing De Certeau to the rhetorical figure of a 'key thinker'... Ahearne brings De Certeau, as it were, back to life." The Sociological Review