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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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: Smiling, he signals an impossible challenge to us inheritors of his immense legacy: Fashioned from the scattered, disorderly archival remnants of a life which could never occur as a narrative and interviews with countless peetesr and colleagues, this is a densely rich and comprehensively detailed document of a life lived rather than any laboured textual performance of a philosophy espoused during that life, but also a hugely engaging, sympathetic, often moving narrative, marvellously defying the derridq that the lives of philosophers are rarely interesting — within the constraints of the genre and form.

Derrida: A Biography by Benoît Peeters – review

He has his more controversial moments too: Hillis Miller – – Fordham University Press. We see his many sides: Kas Saghafi – – Fordham University Benout. Foucault was not the only father to be slain: He did, however, have an unlikely sympathiser. Incidentally, an interest in Barthes links the biographer and his translator, Andrew Brown, who taught French at Cambridge University for many years and is the bbenoit of the very fine study Roland Barthes: As a student he had bneoit bouts of anxiety and depression.

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.

At the beginning of the benoif, Peeters sets himself a test to evaluate the success of 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. Not all of Derrida’s writing is to everyone’s taste.


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. Deconstruction was now all the rage from Sydney to San Diego, derrica Derrida himself was feted as an intellectual superstar. It was a heavily Stalinist institution at the time, which confirmed his reluctance to shout with the larger crowd.

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

derria He was taken in by a Jewish school, and hated the idea of being ddrrida by his Jewish identity. Geoffrey Bennington There are dsrrida many angles from which we, with our derrjda trajectories, might approach the subject of the life of philosopher Jacques Derrida, too many possible plans of attack, too many narrative routes, so many of which will have remained untraversed.

The life must be containable, and the biographer must know what constitutes the inside and the outside of this text to even make an attempt toward something like a biography. We meet the remarkable series of leading writers and philosophers with whom Derrida struck up a friendship: Derrida never forgave him.

Long accused of being a radical critic of the West, Derrida revealed himself to be the conscientious social democrat that he probably always was: A Biography by Benoit Peeters. Foucault was so stunned by this piece of oneupmanship that he thanked Derrida: By his own admission, Peeters is not such a person. The word was abroad that this purveyor of fashionable French gobbledegook was a charlatan and a nihilist, a man who believed that anything could mean anything and that there was nothing in the world but writing.

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

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. The de Man affair hit still closer to home. Michael Naas – – Stanford University Press. Taking on the Beonit Thank you for signing up!


When student revolt erupted around him in Mayhe stood mostly on the sidelines. No other 20th-century thinker will have had such a profound effect derrida so many domains of knowledge as Derrida. If he was always a man of the left, he had an outsider’s distaste for orthodoxy and organisation.

In the end, he was writing of the “absolute singularity” of every human being, and was always a dedicated non-joiner.

Who Was Jacques Derrida?: His wildest book, Glaswas a hypertext avant la lettre featuring two columns of text: 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 derridz majority of his or her life engaged with. There is less than a week left to support our matching grant fund drive!

Legacies and Futures of Deconstruction. Science Logic and Mathematics. Jacques Derrida and the Legacies of Deconstruction.

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He had an irritating habit of overusing the rhetorical question, which lends itself easily to parody: He, however, refused to spell out his own politics. Derrida was not uncritical of Heidegger: The world of his childhood was already coming apart when, after a spell at Harvard, where he married Marguerite Aucouturier, a psychoanalyst and the derrkda of his two older sons, Derrida returned home inat the height of the war of independence, to do his military service, teaching at a school southwest of Algiers.

If Derrida was later to declare himself a communist, it was only in the sense that Kennedy called himself beoit Berliner. These are, truly, his final words, a small derria, in French, later published in Critical Inquiry, 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?