Derrida’s Seminars: Writing Before Writing Before the Letter

derrida-768x585Derrida’s Seminars: Writing Before Writing Before the Letter – 3am Magazine

After beginning with the end, we have ended up at the beginning. The newest of Jacques Derrida’s seminars is the oldest yet published, Heidegger: The Question of Being & History, which pre-dates the philosopher’s 1967 debut, the year he published three of the twentieth century’s most influential works of philosophy. Derrida died in 2004 and left behind more than 14,000 pages of lectures and notes from a half-century of teaching. Thanks to the critical work of the editors of the French editions and the Derrida Seminar Translation Project, five of his seminars have now appeared in book form in French and four in English translation. The editors began with the last seminars before his death, The Beast and the Sovereign and The Death Penalty, courses taught from 1999-2003, before returning to 1964-5, to a young scholar’s inchoate reflections on Heidegger, who would endure as a focus of Derrida’s career and the frequent subject of his close reading practice, which came to be known as deconstruction.

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