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Having A Life by Lewis A. Kirshner

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6 The Man Who Didn't Exist: The Case of Louis Althusser

It was necessary that I plunge myself into the void to reach at last the solution of that beginning from nothing which had become the form of my problem.

—Louis Althusser, Lettres à Franca

LOUIS ALTHUSSER (1918-1990) WAS A PROMINENT MARXIST PHILOSOpher and student of psychoanalytic theory whose writings had a major impact on the Left in France and other countries. As the epitome of the committed intellectual endeavoring to address the inequities of the world, his teaching and actions inspired his students at the elite ÉEcole Normale Superieure and at the Sorbonne for over 20 years. His scholarly books and articles had a private counterpart in a contrapuntal personal reflection in letters ...

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