For Strasbourg: Conversations of Friendship and Philosophy

For Strasbourg: Conversations of Friendship and Philosophy

Pascale-Anne Brault
Michael Naas
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: Fordham University Press
Pages: 144
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  • Book Info
    For Strasbourg: Conversations of Friendship and Philosophy
    Book Description:

    For Strasbourg consists of a series of essays and interviews by French philosopher and literary theorist Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) about the city of Strasbourg and the philosophical friendships he developed there over a forty year period. Written just months before his death, the opening essay of the collection, "The place name(s): Strasbourg," recounts in great detail, and in very moving terms, Derrida's deep attachment to this French city on the border between France and Germany. More than just a personal narrative, however, it is a profound interrogation of the relationship between philosophy and place, philosophy and language, and philosophy and friendship. As such, it raises a series of philosophical, political, and ethical questions that might all be placed under the aegis of what Derrida once called "philosophical nationalities and nationalism." The other three texts included here are long interviews/conversations between Derrida and his two principal interlocutors in Strasbourg, Jean-Luc Nancy and Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe. These interviews are significant both for the themes they focus on (language, politics, friendship, death, life after death, and so on) and for what they reveal about Derrida's relationships to Nancy and Lacoue-Labarthe. Filled with sharp insights into one another's work and peppered with personal anecdotes and humor, they bear witness to the decades-long intellectual friendships of these three important contemporary thinkers. This collection thus stands as a reminder of and testimony to Derrida's relationship to Strasbourg and to the two thinkers most closely associated with that city.

    eISBN: 978-0-8232-5650-1
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Translator’s Preface
    (pp. vii-xiv)
  4. CHAPTER ONE The Place Name(s)—Strasbourg (2004)
    (pp. 1-16)

    This is going to be about thinking [il y va de la pensée], to be sure, about thinking as a going concern, about whether it’s going well or poorly (just try to translate this into another language, into German, for example:la pensée comme elle va).¹ It is going to be about the thinking writing [l’écriture pensante] that traverses philosophy, literature, poetry, music, theater, the visual arts—as well as politics—and the rest.

    Why begin with such a dry, cold, abstract statement? If I insist on saying that, first of all and finally, everything will have had to do,...

  5. CHAPTER TWO Discussion Between Jacques Derrida, Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, and Jean-Luc Nancy (2004)
    (pp. 17-30)

    Jacques derrida: Just a personal word of introduction before opening our discussion. First to tell you in my own name to what extent an experience like today’s remains and will remain precious, unique, and inaugural. Sometimes at conferences one or two students get to participate, but the floor is usually reserved for the elders, that is, the professors … Today, our conference has been given over entirely to students, who are all doing remarkable work, who have offered up, each in his or her own way, a series of provocative reflections. It’s really quite unheard-of and, in the end, unforgettable....

  6. CHAPTER THREE Opening (2003)
    (pp. 31-55)

    Jacques derrida: Since I didn’t know whether I would be able to be with you here today, and especially whether I would be able to deliver a real talk, I decided, with François Noudelmann, whom I would like to thank for his generosity in granting me complete freedom, to leave things up in the air until the last minute and to provide no title for what should be on my part a simple show of solidarity and symbolic friendship for a College whose existence has been dear to my heart since its birth some twenty years ago. “Opening” (“Ouverture”) is...

  7. CHAPTER FOUR Responsibility—Of the Sense to Come (2002)
    (pp. 56-86)

    Francis guibal: I won’t be so foolish as to try to introduce Jacques Derrida here. I know that there are many among us who are grateful for everything he has brought to thinking, brought into in our space of language and of writing, and we are happy to see the continuation of exchanges with Jean-Luc Nancy that are neither simply self-serving nor self-satisfied but that, it seems to me, intersect and, so to speak, fecundate one another. I think that we are now going to see how this will continue. Let me thus give Jacques Derrida the floor right away...

  8. Notes
    (pp. 87-90)