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Learning to Live Finally: The Last Interview [Paperback]

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Item description for Learning to Live Finally: The Last Interview by Jacques Derrida...

With death looming, Jacques Derrida, the world's most famous philosopher, known as the father of "deconstruction," sat down with journalist Jean Birnbaum of the French daily Le Monde. They revisited his life's work and his impending death in a long, surprisingly accessible, and moving final interview.

Sometimes called "obscure" and branded "abstruse" by his critics, the Derrida found in this book is open and engaging, reflecting on a long career challenging important tenets of European philosophy from Plato to Marx.

The contemporary meaning of Derrida's work is also examined, including a discussion of his many political activities. But, as Derrida says, "To philosophize is to learn to die"; as such, this philosophical discussion turns to the realities of his imminent death--including life with a fatal cancer. In the end, this interview remains a touching final look at a long and distinguished career.
“No thinker in the last 100 years had a greater impact than he did on people in more fields and different disciplines.... No thinker has been more deeply misunderstood.”
—Mark C. Taylor, New York Times
The late Jacques Derrida was Director of Studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and Professor of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine. Among the most recent of his many books translated into English are Eyes of the University, Negotiations, Who's Afraid of Philosophy? and Rogues: Two Essays on Reason.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   75
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.3" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.3"
Weight:   0.3 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2007
Publisher   Melville House
ISBN  1933633190  
ISBN13  9781933633190  

Availability  0 units.

More About Jacques Derrida

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jacques Derrida was Director of Studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, and Professor of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine. Stanford has published twelve of his books, most recently Without Alibi (2002) and Negotiations: Interventions and Interviews, 1971-2001 (2002).

Jacques Derrida was born in 1962.

Jacques Derrida has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Philosophy > History & Surveys
2Books > Subjects > History > Europe > France > General
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Modern
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Movements > Deconstruction

Reviews - What do customers think about Learning to Live Finally: The Last Interview?

traces of the man  Sep 16, 2008
There are memorable insights into the man Jacques Derrida in this short book. Removed from the rarefied philosophical air of his works, we find him at home with his main support, his wife Marguerite - and an open suitcase - as he faces death. The theme of survival and self-preservation is uppermost in his thoughts and that the traces he has left along the way signify both his impending death and the hope these traces survive him. He is aware of the inbuilt contradictions in his thought and writing `I am at war with myself,' he says and makes no apology - `that is life.' The only disappointing aspect for me is his articulation of a utopian European dream, emerging from political dislocation and crisis, but this does not detract from a thoroughly worthwhile read. Along the way Derrida leads you into some of his texts and the chronologically arranged Selected Bibliography at the end is most useful.
Deconstructing one's own demise  Oct 30, 2007
I'm not a big enthusiast of Derrida. Much like those who like to hear themselves talk, I have always come away from Derrida convinced he was someone who liked to watch himself write.
This book is anything but that, and certainly whether you are George Harrison or Jean Paul Sartre, death has a way of sharpening one's focus and editing the superfluous. Heidegger would have simply nodded and said, yes, being-toward-death does that. In the case of Derrida, the infatuation with his own opinions is dismissed and he gets down to what's real here. And to that extent this is indeed a moving, chilling and unblinkingly honest coming to terms.
You can draw your own conclusions when the book ends, but it reminded me of Sartre's HOPE NOW, an astounding last interview with Bernard Henri-Levy who was inisistent on getting Sartre to cop to Messianic Judaism and in his obsessive drive missed what Sartre was saying at the end of his life: that in what he had seen in the course of the human struggle, there was every reason for hope now. Derrida was always more positive than J-P S, and he seems intent on delivering a valedictory for the converted and the curious that by thinking, we approach the being of freedom.
A wonderful way to say good-bye...
Chilling  Jul 8, 2007
My five stars is based on the overall value of this work. It offers a better insight into this man than any work ever has--including the film "Derrida" as well as his "Circumfession." If I were to base my rating on pure theoretical value, this would maybe be a "3 Star" review. However, the value of this short work is far greater than that.

I read it in one sitting and it gave me goosebumps on several occasions. These are the chilling words of a dying man baring his soul as he was formerly so opposed to doing.

If you're looking for an introduction to Derrida, this is not the book for you. If you're looking for the icing on the cake or perhaps further inspiration from this man, you will not be disappointed.

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