H. C. for Life, That Is to Say . . . is Derrida's literary critical recollection of his lifelong friendship with Hélène Cixous. The main figure that informs Derrida's reading here is that of "taking sides." While Hélène Cixous in her life and work takes the side of life, "for life," Derrida admits always feeling drawn to the side of death. Rather than being an obvious choice, taking the side of life is an act of faith, by wagering one's life on life.
H. C. for Life sets up and explores this interminable "argument" between Derrida and Cixous as to what death has in store deep within life itself, before the end. In addition to being a memoir, it is also a theoretical confrontationfor example about the meaning of "might" and "omnipotence," and a philosophical and philological analysis of the crypts within the vast oeuvre of Hélène Cixous. Finally, the book is Derrida's tribute to the thought of the woman whom he regards as one of the great French poets, writers, and thinkers of our time.
About the Author
Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) was Director of Studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and Professor of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine. Among the most recent of his many books to have been translated into English are Paper Machine (2005), On TouchingJean-Luc Nancy (2005), Rogues (2005), Eyes of the University (2004), For What Tomorrow... with Elisabeth Roudinesco (2004), Counterpath with Catherine Malabou (2004), Negotiations (2002), Who's Afraid of Philosophy? (2002), and Without Alibi (2002). All of these have been published by Stanford University Press.