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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Biography as a genre tends to overlook and simplify complex matters, concentrating on salacious trivia and the details of the personal life while paying scant attention to the work that the writer or artist spent the majority of his or her life engaged with. Derrida would reject this description of deconstruction, just as he refused to call it a form of critique, or method, or indeed to give it any positive definition at all; to do so would be to give it an identity as susceptible to deconstruction as any other.

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Taking on the Tradition: Would it suffice to point out that Derrida himself protested the oversimplifying function of such reviews?

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.

If his language was French, he could also speak the patois of working-class Arabs. Biography then gathers up the life into a totality, a meaningful whole, providing the type of after-the-fact, omniscient assessments favored by those who have placed themselves in a position to deliver judgments from on high.

Or how do we not assume a limitable and knowable subject, and still write? I n Maythe dons of Cambridge University filed into their parliament to vote on whether to award an honorary degree to the French philosopher Jacques Derridafounder of derridx deconstruction.


Who asks the question who? The de Man affair hit still closer to home. Benoih Cunningham – – Radical Philosophy Derrida sent Nora a page single-spaced letter. Paradoxically, the effect of this brutal rejection on a “little black and very Arab Jew”, as he described himself, was not only to make him feel an outsider, but to breed in him a lifelong aversion to communities. Still, his writings are a rich guide to the concerns that drove him: The accusation that he was a prankster would trail Derrida for years, but he persisted: Soon, there was an American comic book featuring a sinister Doctor Deconstructo, and magazines on home decor were inviting their readers to deconstruct the concept of a garden.

Review: Derrida: A Biography by Benoit Peeters | Stephen Abblitt –

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 biography sui generis. I envision Derrida raising a third, parenthetical concern here. Fashioned from the scattered, disorderly archival remnants of a life which could never occur as a narrative and interviews with countless friends and colleagues, this is a densely rich and comprehensively detailed document benooit a life lived rather than any laboured textual performance of a philosophy espoused pedters that life, but also a hugely engaging, sympathetic, often moving beboit, marvellously defying the notion that the lives of philosophers are rarely interesting — within the constraints of the genre and form.

Benoit Peeters – – Polity. Thank you for signing up!

Derrida: A Biography

He began to write more explicitly about his Algerian-Jewish roots, as if he wanted the world to know who he was after years of hiding from view. And we watch as a concept — deconstruction — takes wing and exerts an extraordinary influence way beyond the philosophical world, on literary studies, architecture, xerrida, theology, feminism, queer theory, and postcolonial studies.

The attack on de Man struck him as the latest in a series of malicious attacks on deconstruction. The previous year had been his annus mirabilis, witnessing the appearance of three of the books that were to make his name revered and reviled across the globe. He was one of the latest in an honourable lineage of anti-philosophers — from Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Marx to Freud, Adorno, Wittgenstein and Walter Benjamin — dereida could say what they benoti to say only by inventing a new style of writing and philosophising.


Norms, doctrines and mass movements were likely to be oppressive, whereas margins and deviations were potentially subversive. To take advantage of all LARB has to offer, please create an account or log in before joining They are amongst his final words: He wanted to give resurrection a chance.

Noting the impossibility preters being able to rigorously distinguish between the biographical and the intellectual, he opts to write an account of the life of the man that aims to be different from edrrida books in that genre. When student revolt erupted around him in Mayhe stood mostly on the sidelines. Call it biographical, autobiographical, or existential, the form of the question who is what matters to me … Who?

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

Legacies and Futures of Deconstruction. However, by the standards of the genre, he has produced a refined, fair-minded biography, genuinely sympathetic to the man and his work. He would later return to his home country as a conscript in the French army, a classic instance of divided identity.

It was a heavily Stalinist institution at the time, which confirmed his reluctance to shout with the larger crowd. Even Heidegger, a radical critic of metaphysics, had failed to escape its snares.