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Jacques Derrida was Director of Studies at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. Among his other works are Writing and Difference; Of Grammatology; and Spectres of Marx.
Following the death of Paul DeMan and the controversies surrounding the ensuing revelations of his personal life and wartime politics, Derrida delivered a lengthy seminar on the ethics and emotions of friendship. Each session began with the same plaintive refrain from Montaigne's essay on friendship: "O my friends, there is no friend." Audiences found the sessions moving despite being abstruse and belabored at times. Throughout Derrida's erudite contextualizing of politics and loyalty from Aristotle to Blanchot, there were strains of personal loss compounded by a Proustian sense of presumed historical fact undermined by verified events. Previous versions of this work by different translators have been available in the Journal of Philosophy (v. 85, 1988) and American Imago (v. 50, 1993). Perhaps because no personal presence intervenes here, this translation sounds inept, trivializing the occasion.‘Marilyn Gaddis Rose, SUNY at Binghamton
"Derrida has never written more illuminatingly on Aristotle, Nietzsche and Heidegger than he does here." - Choice