The Future Lasts Forever: A Memoir. Louis Althusser, Author, Richard Veasey, Translator New Press $25 (p) ISBN In a curiously lucid and compelling narrative, Althusser (), a distinguished neo-Marxist French intellectual, explains his life. The Future Lasts. Forever:The Failure of Auto-Redemption. Catherine A. Poisson. On the 16th of November, , the French philosopher,. Louis Althusser.

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My mother’s love, directed through me to someone who was dead, made it impossible for me to exist in my own right.

It is structured as a flashback, beginning with the scene of crime–the night of the strangulation–and moving backward to Althusser’s relationship with his mother, his upbringing, his relationship with Helene, his intellectual formation and the escalating mental illness that would lead to the murder. Althusser’s story, they argue, is both the work of a madman and of a philosopher, both a work of imagination and a document about contemporary French intellectual history.

As he writes in the latter futufe, “hallucinations are facts” for those who experience them. In addition, aspects of Althusser’s project have served as inspiration for Analytic Marxism as well as for Critical Realism. Althusser’s narrative of himself is authentic.

The Future Lasts Forever: A Memoir by Louis Althusser

This is a great memoir. As he sees it, he spent the major part of his life–spawned by a missing father and an emotionally castrating mother–fathering himself through philosophy and fulfilling his mother’s desires. As a result of the murder of his wife, Louis Althusser was declared unfit to stand trial by reason of insanity–in French, this is called a non-lieu.

As a person deemed unfit to plead, he lost his right to a trial–that is the right to testify and be held responsible for his actions; he lost his right to enter into contract his affairs would be handled by a legal guardian and hence by extension–at least symbolically–his signature, his authorship.


His discussion around and of French intellectuals is also interesting, we get a slight glimpse at Lacan, Foucault and Ranciere, as well as some of the political goings on in postwar France. He is a provocative, colorful person who has bouts of depression and at times a contentious relationship with his eventual victim, his wife.

No trivia or quizzes yet. Apr 20, Chris Radjenovich rated it it was amazing. Due to apparent reversals in his theoretical positions, to the ill-fated facts of Louis Pierre Althusser — was one of the most influential Marxist philosophers of the 20th Century.

The world-renowned French philosopher lats immediately confined to an insane asylum, and his murderous act was officially deemed “temporary insanity. I have found his structuralist interpretations of Capital to be extremely insightful, as well as his work on Marx’s ‘epistemological break,’ though his Freudian and Lacanian readings of M Althusser became one of the most respected and interesting philosophers of Marxism in France during the ‘s and 60’s, which is no small accomplishment considering the fact that practically every intellectual was writing about Marx at the same time.

We are given painful descriptions of his struggle with bipolar disorder, culminating infamously with the murder of his wife during an hallucinatory episode. A althussfr, demanding memoir that illustrates the alliance of genius and madness, the delusive clarity of which the insane are capable, and the enormous influence they can acquire over the thinking of others.

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Likewise, Althusser depicts his experience during Foreveg where Althusser acted as a cowardly POW, lazts with the idea of escaping, only to act remain at post. Alex rated it it was amazing Jun 29, Most of this book is what he wrote the couple of years he was in a mental hospital after the murder.

Meanwhile, leading French thinkers–Foucault, Lacan, Derrida- -briefly appear in the text, but Althusser, insulated by his self- preoccupation and misery, reveals little about them or the intellectual ferment of his times.


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Althusser is a French philosopher who wrote about Marx yawn, now I know why I never heard of him…. In the philosopher strangled his wife.

Althusser does not apologize for this terrible action, but he does attempt to explain it. He always knows that he killed her, but he tells a story that tries he uses foreve try to explain why he did it.

THE FUTURE LASTS FOREVER by Louis Althusser | Kirkus Reviews

Many of his friends blamed her for being such a wretch, but he takes full responsibility for his horrible behavior. Savas rated it it was amazing Mar 27, Refresh and try again.

For those who worry futyre the apparent morbidity of this material, fjture memoir also includes excellent commentary on his political involvements such as his work with the French Communist Party as well as reflections on the May uprising of I’ve read it several times.

It’s bound to offend some as a “justification” for what he’s done, but Althusser himself knew this. Both narratives have a consistent psychoanalytic interpretation that revolves around his mother and feeling like he really does not exist.

Because Ladts wrote a memoir in that is also included with the one he wrote after he murdered his wife, both narratives can be compared.