Excess: Second Lives of Jacques Derrida


In place of an overarching theme or claim about Derrida, the work offers innumerable petits récits. A sequence of roughly four-page bits takes the overall form of a muted picaresque adventure set atop a chronicle. Summaries of Derrida’s works do not appear; his accomplishments are assumed. Discussions of his publications focus on the editors and publishers involved plus, where of interest, scholarly and popular receptions. This work is not an intellectual history, nor is it a hagiography, nor an exemplary life. Instead, it combines biography of Derrida’s personal life, professional career, and institutional history.

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