Translator’s Note


I have over the past few years enjoyed the privilege of translating a number of Quentin Meillassoux’s philosophical writings. The principal challenge in doing so was invariably to render his prose as precise and direct in English as it is in the original French. The present book, in which this scrupulous lucidity transports the reader to the brink of delirium, posed some specific problems of its own. Given an argument that bears upon often very fine points of the French language, and a startlingly original interpretation of what is widely regarded as the most obscure of modern literary works, it is inevitable that one should meet with semantic complexes that prove stubbornly untranslatable. And there is no avoiding the fact that the delights of literary wordplay can be stifled by their laborious explanation…