On Althusser: the late notebooks

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In the work of Althusser a forgotten autobiographical dimension has received few attention. This dimension includes : Lettres à Franca (1998), Lettres à Hélène (2011) and Des Rêves d’angoisse sans fin (2015). Faced to the last, the notebook of his dreams, we observe, by means of hermeneutical method related to recurring images on sensation, knowledge and anxiety, how the philosopher at the start of his autobiography includes data subjected to transformation and phantasmagoria. Besides this dream-notebook and his subsequent autobiography, L’Avenir dure longtemps (1992), we dispose for Althusser of a biography by Yann Moulier Boutang. However, it has been published in 2002, before Lettres à Hélène (2011) and Des Rêves d’angoisse (2015), even if some letters to Hélène have been integrated in the paperback edition. Moulier makes his assessment in two volumes: the first one from 1918 until 1945 and the second one from 1945 until 1956. As a biographer, he seems to confirm Althusser’s love of transformation. Ultimately, readers miss the biographical information on Althusser’s life from 1956 until 1990, excepted the study of Elisabeth Roudinesco. Having within sight a more detailed inquiry on excess, the biography of Althusser needs to be completed and/or re-examined.
Translated title of the contributionOn Althusser: the late notebooks
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)5-14
Number of pages9
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2022


  • biography, autobiography, dream, Louis Althusser, notebook, diary


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