This biography of Jacques Derrida 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. Derrida, Jacques This biography of Jacques Derrida () tells the story of a Jewish boy from Algiers, excluded from school at the age of twelve, who. A review of Benoit Peeters, Derrida: A Biography, trans. Andrew Brown ( Cambridge: Polity, ). Keywords. Derrida; biography. Full Text: PDF.

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I see Derrida, always friendly, open, encouraging, but also intensely concerned with interrogating the supposedly naturalised conventions of such a traditional academic pursuit, provocatively questioning the possibility of ever writing this particular life, and then of bejoit sui generis. Derrida saved everything he wrote: I quoted one of the more accessible passages: You’ll then be redirected back to LARB.

He also had reason to be careful. Sign in to use this feature.

A Matter of Rhythm: Benoît Peeters’s “Derrida: A Biography” – Los Angeles Review of Books

Even so, the Cambridge backwoodsmen were wrong. Deconstruction was, rather, a process that could be revealed as being at work in a text.

Throughout, we see an institutional marginalisation in France, but also a triumph in the United States, with regular teaching periods at Yale, Johns Hopkins, Cornell, University of California Irvine, and New York University from the mids onwards, and his generous frequent participation in copious international colloquia, and then the international rise of his intellectual profile, in the s and beyond.

The secret is not something that can be revealed or unveiled, nor does it conceal itself. He was one of the latest in an honourable lineage of anti-philosophers — from Kierkegaard, Nietzsche deerida Marx to Freud, Adorno, Wittgenstein and Walter Benjamin — who could say what they had to say only by inventing a new style of writing and philosophising.

Yet his denunciations of the new world order, and his insistence derrrida the spectre of Marx would continue to haunt capitalism, revealed an old-fashioned moral outrage he might have once found embarrassing, even suspect.

Shattered by the news, Derrida wrote a long essay in De Man’s defence — which must rank among the most shamelessly disingenuous texts of modern times.


Will it be adequate to say that, having described the virtues of the biography under review, but without rehearsing its most important details, the review has pointed the interested reader to discover these details derrdia him or herself?

He died in Octoberhis last defrida, in defiance of Jewish tradition, that he not be buried too quickly. Deconstruction, he now claimed, had always been about justice, all the more so for having been silent about it. To have apologised would have been pious, at best: While Deleuze, Foucault and Bourdieu made interventions in the press on everything from the derriea of prisons to the Iranian revolution, Derrida kept his distance from politics in the s and much of the s. Foucault was not the only father to be slain: The de Man affair hit still closer to home.

Long accused of being a radical critic of the West, Derrida revealed himself to be the conscientious social democrat that he probably always was: By scattering his writing with clues and apparent confessions, he played a coy game of disclosure and concealment, inviting curiosity while refusing to show himself clearly.

Interviews, []once exclaimed: Michael Naas – – Stanford University Press. As a teenager, Derrida had fantasised with some of his friends about blowing up their school with some explosives they had acquired. Joshua Kates – – Fordham University Press.


Travelling to communist Prague in to address a secretly organised philosophy seminar, he was arrested and charged with drug smuggling. I see the ambitious scholar, an overflowing folder of loose notes on the small table before him, enthusiastically outlining his monumental project, this doubly epic undertaking of archival investigation and narrative craft. Speech and Phenomenaanother study of Husserl; Writing and Differencea collection of essays originally published in journals like Tel Quel and Critique ; and his masterwork, Of Grammatology.

Smiling, he signals an impossible challenge to us inheritors of his immense legacy: When a close friend serving in Brazza wrote to him about the torture of an Arab teenager, Derrida was horrified but refused to take a position: Glas seems to have left Genet, the contaminating agent, at a loss for words, as it did most readers. He did, however, have an unlikely sympathiser. How do we write the life of Derrida in a way which interrogates, as he did, the conventions of the styles, structures, genres, forms, et cetera, we are forced to employ?


Not in the Mood

He, however, refused to spell out his own politics. To take advantage of all LARB has to offer, please create an account or log in before joining The first half of The Post Derridda is an epistolary novel composed of envois to an unnamed lover.

We meet the remarkable series of leading writers and philosophers with whom Derrida struck up a friendship: It seems the authorities saw the dismantling of binary oppositions as a threat to the state. He was a corrupter of youth who had to be stopped in his tracks. However, in his last interview, a few months before his death, Jacques Derrida admitted that he had not learned how to die. The imaginary biographer, confronted by the doubled impossibility of a Derridean biography, posed by its own subject, must despair at so much abstract theoretical talk.

Even the French government fell under his spell. With these words in Writing and DifferenceDerrida introduced the themes of what would become known as poststructuralism.

He considered himself a man of the left, but the call to choose sides in the class struggle or the Cold War struck him as a betrayal of deconstructionist first principles, an abandonment of the doubt and scepticism he cultivated in his work.

derriea Yet Peeters gives the impression that Derrida was a well-adjusted young man, a reader of Gide, Sartre and Camus who was also good at football and confident with women.

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.

These connections soon came in handy: