Books for the News

Five years on, Derrida lives at the University of Chicago Press

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Over at the Cultural Capital blog (great name, by the way) of the New Statesman, Simon Reid-Henry reflects on philosopher Jacques Derrida on the fifth anniversary of his death. Reid-Henry laments that, “judging by how little noticed the fifth anniversary of his death has been, [Derrida’s] star has fallen a long way in the past five years.” But he also enthusiastically notes that the great thinker’s legacy is being kept alive by publications like the Press’s forthcoming The Beast and the Sovereign: “The lectures—which have been gathering dust for the past few years in the archives of the University of California-Irvine—hold out the promise of a more politically relevant Derrida, fit for our times, as they deal with questions of ‘force, right and justice’.” (He also alludes to “an interview with a fellow intellectual, Mustapha Chérif, shortly before Derrida’s death, [in which] he held forth on a range of matters, including Islam, secularism and democracy.” Those debates were published last year in the book Islam and the West: A Conversation with Jacques Derrida.)
Despite his mostly gloomy forecast, Reid-Henry ends his remembrance on an optimistic note: “Derrida remains entirely pertinent to the moment.” And we here at the Press couldn’t agree more. We remain committed to bring the work of this great philosopher to print, and we’ve already amassed a substantial list. Stay tuned for more!