Archive Fever

The battle over Jacques Derrida's papers began even before the philosopher died. It ended in victory for his family — and a black eye for the University of California at Irvine.

In his final interview, given to the French newspaper Le Monde in the spring of 2004, Jacques Derrida spoke of death and writing: "I leave a piece of paper behind, I go away, I die: It is impossible to escape this structure, it is the unchanging form of my life." He worried that everything he wrote