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An Event, Perhaps

A Biography of Jacques Derrida

Peter Salmon



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05 January 2022
Who was Jacques Derrida? For some, he is responsible, at least in part, for the contemporary crisis of truth. For the far right, he is one of the architects of Cultural Marxism. To his academic critics, he reduced French philosophy to ‘little more than an object of ridicule’. For his fans, he is an intellectual rock star who ranged across literature, politics, and linguistics. In An Event Perhaps, Peter Salmon presents this misunderstood and misappropriated figure as a deeply humane and urgent thinker for our times.

Accessible, provocative and beautifully written, this biography will introduce to a new readership to the life and work of a philosopher whose influence over the way we think will continue long into the twenty-first century.

Imprint:   Verso
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 20mm
Weight:   263g
ISBN:   9781788732819
ISBN 10:   1788732812
Pages:   320
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Peter Salmon is a teacher of creative writing and a writer. His novel, The Coffee Story , was a New Statesman Book of the Year. He has written for the Guardian, the Sydney Review of Books, the New Humanist, as well as Australian TV and radio. He has received Writer's Awards from the Arts Council of England and the Arts Council of Victoria, Australia.

Reviews for An Event, Perhaps: A Biography of Jacques Derrida

This is a compulsively readable intellectual biography of Derrida that teases out his endlessly fascinating thought, even when it is at its knottiest, with admirable patience and lucidity. Salmon's book, in vividly transmitting the intellectual excitement of Derrida's times, reminds the reader that, especially in his thinking about ethics, he remains a philosopher who is urgently, politically relevant to our times too. -- Matthew Beaumont, Professor at English at University College, London The life of Jacques Derrida has never been told as elegantly or engagingly as it is in Peter Salmon's new book. In delightfully readable, often laconic prose, Salmon helped me to understand Derrida as never before and demonstrated why he is not, as some detractors called him, the Devil but much more cherishable. A wonderful book. -- Stuart Jeffries, author of Grand Hotel Abyss A precise intellectual biography ... Salmon's ability to render the man and the mind behind Derrida's notoriously difficult style accessible make this volume a rich resource for both newcomers to, and fans of, one of the great philosophers of this or any age. * Publishers Weekly * Peter Salmon's clear-sighted, engaging guide to Derrida's life and ideas is an excellent way to learn about how one of the twentieth century's most complex thinkers continues to influence our world -- Daniel Trilling, author of Lights in the Distance A scintillating new biography . . . Derrida's life story provides a frame and background for an intellectual biography of his ideas and their development. In the process it also serves as one of the clearest introductions to 20th-century continental philosophy available. -- Julian Baggini * Prospect Magazine * [An Event, Perhaps] comes as manna from heaven ... It's dizzyingly good. * Expressen *

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