Derrida’s 2002-3 Seminar

I got Derrida’s 2002-3 seminar, the second of the “beast and the sovereign” lectures, in the mail last week. The first year of these lectures is already in English, and I’m sure an English translation is due soon. I’ll post more soon on it, since I’m about half-way through, but he spends much of the lectures dealing with the concept of isolation and its link to sovereignty, and also to Heidegger’s 29-30 course on boredom and animality. For those who like the direction he takes in The Animal that Therefore I am, this is an important work.


  1. I have been wondering for a while if it is worth it to get these lectures yet. I guess it depends on how quickly they will come out in English.

    There is a certain cost prohibition, and reading Derrida in French is always a significant time commitment for me.

    So, your job (should you take it!) is to continue to make posts about this book so I get a better sense of what is going on.

  2. A follow-up thought. The write up of the book talks about how one of the main texts for Derrida in this volume is Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. I’ve often meant to write on that book in relation to animals. Primarily, and particularly, after reading Coetzee’s Foe.

    So, tell me if Coetzee’s work is mentioned by Derrida at all (if you don’t mind). I kinda doubt it would be, but I am interested.

  3. In fact, it’s a long close reading of Robinson Crusoe. There is some mention of Coetzee’s Foe, which he tells his students to read as well. But he juxtaposes Crusoe and Heidegger, and in fact the computer file that the lectures were on was titled “Foe/Hei.” As for the cost, yeah, if I wasn’t already paying the shipping to get some other books, I would have found the price of the book rather prohibitive.

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