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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