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Not in the Mood

Adam Shatz: Derrida’s Secrets, 22 November 2012

Derrida: A Biography 
by Benoît Peeters, translated by Andrew Brown.
Polity, 629 pp., £25, November 2012, 978 0 7456 5615 1
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... as if it were a cruel punishment. Yet he wrote constantly about himself, in what his biographer Benoît Peeters calls ‘memoirs that are not memoirs’. The first half of The Post Card (1980) is an epistolary novel composed of envois to an unnamed lover. His 1991 essay ‘Circumfession’, written in stream-of-consciousness as his mother lay ...

Haddock blows his top

Christopher Tayler: Hergé’s Redemption, 7 June 2012

Hergé: The Man who Created Tintin 
by Pierre Assouline, translated by Charles Ruas.
Oxford, 276 pp., £9.99, October 2011, 978 0 19 983727 4
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Hergé, Son of Tintin 
by Benoît Peeters, translated by Tina Kover.
Johns Hopkins, 394 pp., £15.50, November 2011, 978 1 4214 0454 7
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... of my research’ (it was later withdrawn), and he gave ‘the most sensitive files’, as Benoît Peeters puts it, the methodical combing ‘that everyone had been waiting for’. Peeters, a Tintinologist of long standing who once wrote a study of The Castafiore Emerald under Barthes’s supervision, regrets ...

Bitten by a Snake

Michael Wood: Waiting for Valéry, 21 May 2020

The Idea of Perfection: The Poetry and Prose of Paul Valéry 
translated by Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody.
Farrar, Straus, 352 pp., £32, April, 978 0 374 29848 7
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... in English (1957-75) looks more like a monument than a point of reference.A recent biographer, Benoît Peeters, is keen to make a case for Valéry’s prose but says ‘the poetry … is no doubt what has aged him the most.’ I do think the early poems seem locked into the French equivalent of a Pre-Raphaelite moment, but even then there are ...

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