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Jacques Derrida Quotes


A French literary critic and philosopher.
(1930 - 2004)

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As soon as there is language, generality has entered the scene.
 

As soon as we cease to believe in such an engineer and in a discourse which breaks with the received historical discourse, and as soon as we admit that every finite discourse is bound by a certain bricolage and that the engineer and the scientist are also species of bricoleurs, then the very idea of bricolage is menaced and the difference in which it took on its meaning breaks down.
 

At the end of Being and Nothingness...[,] Being in-itself and Being for-itself were of Being; and this totality of beings, in which they were effected, itself was linked up to itself, relating and appearing to itself, by means of the essential project of human-reality. What was named in this way, in an allegedly neutral and undetermined way, was nothing other than the metaphysical unity of man and God, the relation of man to God, the project of becoming God as the project constituting human-reality. Atheism changes nothing in this fundamental structure.
 

Certain readers resented me when they could no longer recognize their territory, their institution.
 

Each time this identity announces itself, someone or something cries: Look out for the trap, you're caught. Take off, get free, disengage yourself.
 

Every discourse, even a poetic or oracular sentence, carries with it a system of rules for producing analogous things and thus an outline of methodology.
 

Everything is arranged so that it be this way, this is what is called culture.
 

Failure meant a return to Algiers in a state of absolute precariousness, and I didn't want to go back to Algeria.
 

I became the stage for the great argument between Nietzsche and Rousseau. I was the extra ready to take on all the roles.
 

I believe it is always a writer who is accused of being someone who is engaged in an explanation with language, the economy of language.
 

I do everything I think possible or acceptable to escape from this trap.
 

I do not believe in pure idioms. I think there is naturally a desire, for whoever speaks or writes, to sign in an idiomatic, irreplaceable manner.
 

I have always had school sickness, as others have seasickness. I cried when it was time to go back to school long after I was old enough to be ashamed of such behavior.
 

I have always had trouble recognizing myself in the features of the intellectual playing his political role according to the screenplay that you are familiar with and whose heritage deserves to be questioned.
 

I have tried to submit the singularity that is writing, signature, self-presentation, autobiographical engagement to the most rigorous-and necessary-philosophical questioning.
 

I loved what Gide says about Proteus, I identified naively with him who identified, if that's possible, with Proteus.
 

I never give in to the temptation to be difficult just for the sake of being difficult. That would be too ridiculous.
 

I remember the hymn to the Sahel, to Blida, and to the fruits of the Jardin d'Essai. Probably L'immoraliste sent me to Nietzsche, and Nietzsche led me in the direction of Rousseau.
 

I wrote some bad poetry that I published in North African journals, but even as I withdrew into this reading, I also led the life of a kind of young hooligan.
 

If this work seems so threatening, this is because it isn't simply eccentric or strange, but competent, rigorously argued, and carrying conviction.
 


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