Derrida: A Biography

Derrida: A Biography

By: Benoit Peeters (author)Hardback

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This biography of Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) tells the story of a Jewish boy from Algiers, excluded from school at the age of twelve, who went on to become the most widely translated French philosopher in the world - a vulnerable, tormented man who, throughout his life, continued to see himself as unwelcome in the French university system. We are plunged into the different worlds in which Derrida lived and worked: pre-independence Algeria, the microcosm of the Ecole Normale Superieure, the cluster of structuralist thinkers, and the turbulent events of 1968 and after. We meet the remarkable series of leading writers and philosophers with whom Derrida struck up a friendship: Louis Althusser, Emmanuel Levinas, Jean Genet, and Helene Cixous, among others. We also witness an equally long series of often brutal polemics fought over crucial issues with thinkers such as Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, John R. Searle, and Jurgen Habermas, as well as several controversies that went far beyond academia, the best known of which concerned Heidegger and Paul de Man. We follow a series of courageous political commitments in support of Nelson Mandela, illegal immigrants, and gay marriage. And we watch as a concept - deconstruction - takes wing and exerts an extraordinary influence way beyond the philosophical world, on literary studies, architecture, law, theology, feminism, queer theory, and postcolonial studies. In writing this compelling and authoritative biography, Benoit Peeters talked to over a hundred individuals who knew and worked with Derrida. He is also the first person to make use of the huge personal archive built up by Derrida throughout his life and of his extensive correspondence. Peeters' book gives us a new and deeper understanding of the man who will perhaps be seen as the major philosopher of the second half of the twentieth century.

About Author

Benoit Peeters was born in Paris in 1956. Following a degree in Philosophy at the Sorbonne (Paris I), he went on to study for his Masters at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes under the direction of Roland Barthes. He has since published over forty works on a wide variety of subjects and has written essays and biographies on Herge, Alfred Hitchcock, and Paul Valery.


Acknowledgements vii Introduction 1 PART I JACKIE 1930-1962 1 The Negus 1930-1942 9 2 Under the Sun of Algiers 1942-1949 19 3 The Walls of Louis-le-Grand 1949-1952 35 4 The Ecole Normale Superieure 1952-1956 59 5 A Year in America 1956-1957 80 6 The Soldier of Kolea 1957-1959 92 7 Melancholia in Le Mans 1959-1960 108 8 Towards Independence 1960-1962 113 PART II DERRIDA 1963-1983 1 From Husserl to Artaud 1963-1964 127 2 In the Shadow of Althusser 1963-1966 144 3 Writing Itself 1965-1966 155 4 A Lucky Year 1967 170 5 A Period of Withdrawal 1968 186 6 Uncomfortable Positions 1969-1971 207 7 Severed Ties 1972-1973 230 8 Glas 1973-1975 256 9 In Support of Philosophy 1973-1976 267 10 Another Life 1976-1977 288 11 From the Nouveaux Philosophes to the Estates General 1977-1979 298 12 Postcards and Proofs 1979-1981 308 13 Night in Prague 1981-1982 332 14 A New Hand of Cards 1982-1983 342 PART III JACQUES DERRIDA 1984-2004 1 The Territories of Deconstruction 1984-1986 355 2 From the Heidegger Aff air to the de Man Aff air 1987-1988 379 3 Living Memory 1988-1990 402 4 Portrait of the Philosopher at Sixty 417 5 At the Frontiers of the Institution 1991-1992 440 6 Of Deconstruction in America 451 7 Specters of Marx 1993-1995 462 8 The Derrida International 1996-1999 478 9 The Time of Dialogue 2000-2002 495 10 In Life and in Death 2003-2004 518 Notes 543 Sources 593 Bibliography 596 Index 605

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780745656151
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 700
  • ID: 9780745656151
  • weight: 1162
  • ISBN10: 0745656153

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