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The Future Lasts Forever: A Memoir

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  152 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
On November 16, 1980, Louis Althusser, while massaging his wife's neck, discovered that he had strangled her. The world-renowned French philosopher was immediately confined to an insane asylum where he authored this memoir--a profound yet subtle exercise in documenting madness from the inside.
Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 1st 1995 by The New Press (first published 1992)
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Abailart
Feb 15, 2014 Abailart rated it it was amazing
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In 1980 the philosopher strangled his wife. After a lifetime of mental illness, he was found unfit to plead and sent once more to an asylum. This autobiography gives his side of things. I am 200 or so pages in, and promise you it's a fascinating read.

By this stage of his book he is discussing his philosophy. Many of the details I have to ignore - such as many references to names and publications around the 1968 Paris events - but the general thrust of his relationship with Marxism and theory is
...more
Ruth
Jan 26, 2012 Ruth rated it liked it
I would like to think I’ve heard of this guy before, but it rings no bells.

This is a great memoir. Even if you skip around, it is a good read.

Althusser is a French philosopher who wrote about Marx (yawn, now I know why I never heard of him…). He was ready to go to college right when the war began, and ended up spending five years as a p.o.w., then starting his academic career. He went to college and never left, staying as a teacher and professional until the awful end. He is a provocative, color
...more
Tara
Dec 06, 2011 Tara rated it really liked it
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The class on Althusser was being offered my first semester of graduate school. I did not know who he was and I could not parse the course description. The course turned out to be quite controversial--I guess cause LA was also controversial.

So twenty years later, after reading Marx and LA's students- Foucault and Ranciere (I did not realize was one of LA's students until I read it in the memoir) I got around to reading the theorist and wife killer. I think that my experience with psychiatry and i
...more
William West
Nov 03, 2014 William West rated it liked it
This volume actually contains two autobiographical writings by Althusser written several years apart, between which the philosopher strangled his wife to death in a bout of madness. The two pieces, which predictably recount many of the same events from the author's life, are haunting to read next to each other. They seem to confirm Woody Allen's pronouncement that any tale can be either a comedy or a tragedy based on the tone with which it is told.

"The Facts", the earlier work, reads like a cha
...more
Mr.
Oct 06, 2008 Mr. rated it really liked it
Althusser became one of the most respected and interesting philosophers of Marxism in France during the 1950's and 60's, which is no small accomplishment considering the fact that practically every intellectual was writing about Marx at the same time. In all honesty, I find his work to be of rather mixed value. 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 ...more
Lauren Moos
Dec 02, 2012 Lauren Moos rated it really liked it
"I also experienced extreme anguish and repulsion at the idea that someone wanted to 'get their hands on me'. What I feared above all was scheming women....As a precaution I even resorted on occasion to insane remarks and ripostes. For example, I once replied to a young woman who wrote declaring her love, which I had been aware of for some time: 'I detest being loved!' which was completely untrue but which signified; I detest anyone taking the initiative in this respect....I am referring to myse ...more
Chris Radjenovich
May 08, 2014 Chris Radjenovich rated it it was amazing
"So, despite its dramas, life can still be beautiful. I am sixty-seven, and though it will soon all be over, I feel younger now than I have ever done, never having had any youth since no one love me for myself. Yes, the future lasts a long time."

How is it possible to evoke emotions of awe and disgust at the same time? Written four years after the murder of his wife, Althusser goes on to reflect on the factors that led to him doing it, though he encourage readers to "judge the results for themsel
...more
gogo2go
Nov 03, 2014 gogo2go rated it liked it
This book although quite good really lasts forever
ömer
Jul 07, 2016 ömer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What makes you a great intellectual is not a dedicated, hard-working life. It also takes and perhaps should take a lot of personal misery. This is the book that is a very honest account of these miseries. Miseries and the struggle to make a life from them.
Barbwire Sugarbeet
I deal with a lot of the same brain goo as he does (well, I never killed anyone because of it) so it was a good experience. Heart-wrenching at points and an interesting history lesson of Communist Party politics in the post-war years. Although, I do not think I know anybody I could recommend it to I would recommend it to those who feel helpless in their scholastic endeavors or feel like they don't have any friends. He does a great amount of explaining how lonely and useless he felt most of the t ...more
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Louis Pierre Althusser (1918–1990) was one of the most influential Marxist philosophers of the 20th Century. As they seemed to offer a renewal of Marxist thought as well as to render Marxism philosophically respectable, the claims he advanced in the 1960s about Marxist philosophy were discussed and debated worldwide. Due to apparent reversals in his theoretical positions, to the ill-fated facts of ...more
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