UC vs. the Derridas

Feb 8, 2007 by

The University of California has sued the family of Jacques Derrida, a pioneer in contemporary philosophy and literary theory who died in 2004. The lawsuit is the first public eruption of a bitter, behind-the-scenes battle that involves both the papers and, perhaps, the legacy of the thinker.

The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Central California in late November, focuses on the ultimate disposition of Derrida’s papers, many of which are housed at the University of California at Irvine. At the time of his death, Derrida taught both at Irvine and at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, in Paris.

The rest

(Via PTDR)

  • https://philosophicalnotebooks.blogspot.com Ian M.

    It seems a bit odd, if not unfortunate, given the nature of Derrida’s work, that this suit would happen. Derrida commonly condemned any idea of a ‘sole reader of the archive’ or any claim to sole possession of a text. Kind of ironic, I suppose.

  • Chris S.

    Is it just me or is the comment of Mr. Krapp at the end of the article (the lawsuit is a mere distraction from genuine thought of the archive) an elitist dismissal of precisely the ridiculous politics Derrida loved to satirize? It shows how foolishly sycophantic epigones can end up when their fidelity to a system comes at the expense of the sense of humour required to drive the system to its limits. Of course he would never admit to it publicly, but privately, Derrida could not have been more sardonically pleased with the irony of the situation. Perhaps the doubly ironic and regrettable fact of the matter is that he is not here to play with it as would have been his right. Considering that the lawsuit involves rival libraries, rival archives, what we have is a sort of battle of sarcophagi enacting a macabre industrial death rite over the grave of a corps that by its nature has the ability to perform an ironic, interpretive ghost dance that mocks both parties. Good times.

  • Orla Schantz

    Yes, it is ironic. Here’s a suggestion: Following in the true “traces” of Derrida, couldn’t the University of California just have the margins and the spaces between the lines that Derrida always advised us to study, rather than the monolithic blocks of text?

    Seriously though: Thanks again to Farhang for this truly inspiring website. You are doing a great service and deserve our appreciation. I get so much intellectual pleasure out of it. Keep up the good work, please!

  • Chris S.

    UC Irvine drops suit over French philosopher’s personal papers

    Story here:
    https://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2007/02/14/state/n122809S98.DTL

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