The Legacy of Jacques Derrida — Peggy Kamuf's "To Follow"

“If Derrida’s legacy is to survive into the future, you’ve got to read this book”—Elissa Marder, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.

Peggy Kamuf

Peggy Kamuf has been one of the leading translators and readers of Jacques Derrida in English. Her most recent work, To Follow: The Wake of Jacques Derrida was recently reviewed in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, who called it an “illuminating and moving book.”

The book is comprised of essays about Derrida centering around a key work from his work in order to focus on the critical and political interventions called forth in his thought. The review praises Kamuf for her attention to the subtleties of Derrida’s thought, his relationship with “philosophy,” and his legacy.

In conclusion, the reviewer, Elissa Marder, writes:

Who can tell what the legacy of Jacques Derrida will have been? This question, posed from the vantage point of an unknowable and unforeseeable future is, of course, impossible to answer here and now. But Kamuf’s elegant and lucid book takes us a long way toward beginning to think about how to read that legacy from now on. At several punctual moments in To Follow, Kamuf recalls her own first encounter with Derrida-as-text through the books that were first given to her by others when she was a student, accompanied by the imperative phrase, “you’ve got to read this.” Through her own exemplary readings of Derrida’s texts, Kamuf shows why this writing matters so much, why reading Derrida is necessary, why, in other words “il faut le faire.” If Derrida’s legacy is to survive into the future, you’ve got to read this book.

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