Who was Alain Badiou

Alain Badiou - career of a controversial person

In this volume, Bruno Bosteels, Professor of Comparative Latin American Literature at Cornell University in New York, deals with the philosophy of Alain Badious, who is now considered one of the most important contemporary French thinkers. Bosteels analyzes Badiou's intellectual roots - including Althusser and Lacan - and also shows the close intellectual connections with Gilles Deleuze, Slavoj Žižek, Daniel Bensaïd and Judith Butler.

Bostel's reading of Badiou is remarkable because it swims against the current of the now prevailing image, according to which Badiou is a dogmatic, arrogant, absolutist or mystical figure who presents the event as a radical cut or a pure beginning. In addition, it contradicts the reading that sees the event only as a barely secularized version of grace or miracle.

For this purpose, Bosteels not only mobilizes all of Badiou's significant texts, especially the early work that has not yet been translated into German Théorie du sujet (Theory of the subject), but also a large part of the thinkers of its generation. In Bosteel's philosophical biography, the reader finds a constant confrontation with the "masters" Badious, above all Louis Althusser and Jacques Lacan, but also with conversational partners who are often friends, from Gilles Deleuze to Daniel Bensaïd and Judith Butler to Žižek.

Bruno Bosteels, Professor of Romance Studies, now teaches at Cornell University in Ithaca / New York. Previously, he was a lecturer in Romance languages ​​and literature at the University of Pennsylvania, Romance philology at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, and assistant professor at Harvard University and Columbia University. His publications include Badiou and Politics (Duke University Press, 2011) and The Actuality of Communism (Verso, 2011). His two new books are in preparation: Marx and Freud in Latin America and After Borges: Literature and Antiphilosophy.