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Jacques Derrida Quotes

Jacques Derrida was born in Algeria in 1930, into a Jewish Family. He studied in France, Paris, at Lycée Louis-le-Grand and at the Ecole Normale Supérieure. Derrida wrote his thesis on the philosophy of Husserl. Following his aggregation, he went to teach at Harvard, but the war brought him back to France. In 1964, he taught at the Ecole Normale Supérieure.

He wrote the following books Of Grammatology, Writing and Difference, Voice and Phenomenon. Derrida was at the centre of the Deconstruction concept which went on to influence the fields of literature, linguistics, translation and critical theory. Derrida is one of the most read and studied French philosopher and writer of the postmodern age.

Jacques Derrida passed away in Paris, on the 9th of October 2004.

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

Jacques Derrida

Still today, I cannot cross the threshold of a teaching institution without physical symptoms, in my chest and my stomach, of discomfort or anxiety. And yet I have never left school.

Jacques Derrida

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

Jacques Derrida

Why is it the philosopher who is expected to be easier and not some scientist who is even more inaccessible?

Jacques Derrida

Who ever said that one was born just once?

Jacques Derrida

Whatever precautions you take so the photograph will look like this or that, there comes a moment when the photograph surprises you. It is the other’s gaze that wins out and decides.

Jacques Derrida

We are all mediators, translators.

Jacques Derrida

To pretend, I actually do the thing: I have therefore only pretended to pretend.

Jacques Derrida

These years of the Ecole Normale were an ordeal. Nothing was handed to me on the first try.

Jacques Derrida

These critics organize and practice in my case a sort of obsessive personality cult which philosophers should know how to question and above all, to moderate.

Jacques Derrida

The first problem of the media is posed by what does not get translated, or even published in the dominant political languages.

Jacques Derrida

The boarding-school experience in Paris was very hard, I didn’t put up with it very well. I was sick all the time, or in any case frail, on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

Jacques Derrida

No one gets angry at a mathematician or a physicist whom he or she doesn’t understand, or at someone who speaks a foreign language, but rather at someone who tampers with your own language.

Jacques Derrida

My most resolute opponents believe that I am too visible, that I am a little too alive, that my name echoes too much in the texts which they nevertheless claim to be inaccessible.

Jacques Derrida

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.

Jacques Derrida

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

Jacques Derrida

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.

Jacques Derrida

The circle of the return to birth can only remain open, but this is a chance, a sign of life, and a wound.

Jacques Derrida

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

Jacques Derrida

In philosophy, you have to reckon with the implicit level of an accumulated reserve, and thus with a very great number of relays, with the shared responsibility of these relays.

Jacques Derrida

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.

Jacques Derrida

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.

Jacques Derrida

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

Jacques Derrida

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.

Jacques Derrida

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

Jacques Derrida

In Algeria, I had begun to get into literature and philosophy. I dreamed of writing-and already models were instructing the dream, a certain language governed it.

Jacques Derrida

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

Jacques Derrida

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