Isabel Jacobs/Martin Küpper: Philosopher of the Ideal: EVALD ILYENKOV AT 100

Fig. 1: Evald Ilyenkov in the early 1950s. Credits: Elena Illesh

February 18th 2024 marked the centenary of the birth of Evald Ilyenkov (1924–1979) – a brilliant and influential Soviet philosopher whose most important early works remained unpublished during his lifetime (fig. 1). Two days before Ilyenkov’s 100th birthday, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was found dead in a Siberian prison colony; that news overshadowed the little attention given to Ilyenkov’s anniversary in Russia. The manner in which Ilyenkov’s centenary and Navalny’s death were treated reflects memory culture in Putin’s Russia, where the legacies of Soviet Marxism are often suppressed by ultra-nationalist propaganda. Abroad, Ilyenkov’s prestige has seen a remarkable rise in recent years, accompanied by translations and new scholarship in, for example, Sweden, Ukraine, Peru, Turkey, Canada and Cuba. „Isabel Jacobs/Martin Küpper: Philosopher of the Ideal: EVALD ILYENKOV AT 100“ weiterlesen

Oliver Precht: PORTRAIT OF A PHILOSOPHER (Notes on a New Biography of Jacques Derrida)

Writing a biography of Jacques Derrida is no small task. The biographer is not only confronted with an abundance of personal material, he or she must also confront Derrida’s extensive and notoriously complex oeuvre. Matters become even more complicated when considering the author’s autobiographical writings and his almost obsessive attempt to create his own archive. In the early years of his career, Derrida was extremely reluctant to disclose any biographical information, but once he had revealed the first details on his personal life in a 1983 interview with Catherine David for Le Nouvel Observateur, Derrida intensified his attempts to narrate and thereby control his biography. This biographical turn resulted not only in some of his best known texts,[1] but also in the donation of his personal archive to the Langson Library at the University of California, Irvine, and the Institut Mémoires de l’édition contemporaine (IMEC), close to Caen. However, as Peter Salmon notes (Peter Salmon, An Event, Perhaps. A Biography of Jacques Derrida, London / New York: Verso, 2020), this self-archivisation and self-narration does „not simply record, it produces. By selecting what is important, it rejects what is not” (270). The same is true of Salmon’s book: it “adds another narrative version of the life of Jacques Derrida” (ibid.). „Oliver Precht: PORTRAIT OF A PHILOSOPHER (Notes on a New Biography of Jacques Derrida)“ weiterlesen