Reproduced below is the blurb Verso Books have sent out for the fourth and final book of English translations of the posthumously-published works of Louis Althusser. Althusser was one of the greatest Marxist thinkers of any era, but the tragic events of his life have for some time overshadowed his work. In recent years there has been a marked revival of interest in him, though so far this revival seems limited to academia. I'm waiting on my copy of Philosophy of the Encounter, but when it turns up I'll review it and explain what all the fuss is about. In the meantime, you can check out Gregory Elliot's review of the French editions of Althusser's posthumous works here.
NEW TITLE FROM VERSO:
Philosophy of the Encounter
Later Writings, 1978-1987
Edited by François Matheron
Translated and introduced by G.M. Goshgarian
“Althusser traversed so many lives—so many personal, historical, philosophical and political adventures; marked, inflected, influenced so many discourses, actions and existences by the radiant and provocative force of his thought—that the most diverse and contradictory accounts could never exhaust their source.” — Jacques Derrida
In the late 1970s and 1980s, Louis Althusser endured a period of intense mental instability during which he murdered his wife and was committed to a psychiatric hospital. Spanning this deeply troubling period, this fourth and final volume of political and philosophical writings reveals Althusser wrestling in a creative and unorthodox fashion with a whole series of theoretical problems to produce some of his very finest work. In his profound exploration of questions of determinism and contingency, Althusser developed a “philosophy of the encounter,” which he links to a hidden and subterranean tradition in the history of Western thought which stretches from Epicurus through Spinoza and Machiavelli to Marx, Derrida and Heidegger.
Louis Althusser taught political philosophy for many years at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, and was a leading intellectual in the French Communist Party. Many major figures studied with him, including Derrida and Foucault, and his work marked a new beginning for post-war political philosophy. His books include Reading Capital (with Etienne Balibar), For Marx, Machiavelli and Us and The Humanist Controversy and Other Writings.
Publication: June 5th 2006
Paperback 1-84467-553-X Price: £16.99 / $27 / £38CAN
Hardback 1-84467-069-4 Price: £50/ $90/ $125CAN
To order a copy please go to this webpage.
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