Return to Reims
Number of pages
***Recipient of the 2011 French Voices translation grant***
***Translated sample available***
***Foreign rights for Didier Eribon's work have been sold to South Korea, Spain, Czech Republic, United States, Bulgaria, Italy, Portugal, and Brazil***
Return to Reims, although deeply personal, is a carefully researched and considered social study. This critically acclaimed study of class and resistance, by leading international scholar Didier Eribon, achieved a remarkable degree of popular success in France, where it has been described as "a magnificent example of a life that is explained —and at the same time liberated—by theoretical instruments."
Return to Reims takes the death of Eribon's father as its starting point. Over the years, Eribon had kept his distance from his family and the working-class culture in which he had grown up. His father's death brings him back into close contact with his mother, and he describes how this return to the scene of his childhood forces him to realize some oddities about his intellectual career: "Why, when I have written so much about processes of domination, have I never written about class-based forms of domination?" "Why, when I have paid so much attention to the role played by feelings of shame in processes of subjectification, have I written so little about class-based forms of shame?"
In Return to Reims, Eribon studies the multiple processes of subjectification that could lead someone like him to escape from his working-class background while he simultaneously crafted a gay subjectivity for himself, that shaped his prodigious career in academia. By his own admission it was easier for him to write about his sexual shame than his social shame. As he describes the various collective histories in which he and his family can be placed, he also studies the overlapping of class and sexuality and the complicated role of the educational system in the production of identities such as his.
Didier Eribon : Didier Eribon is a leading French intellectual and author, noted particularly for his celebrated biography of his master, Michel Foucault, published by Harvard University Press in 1991, Conversations with Claude Levi-Strauss (The University of Chicago Press, 1991), and more recently Insult and the Making of the Gay Self (Duke University Press, 2004). A visiting professor of philosophy and theory at Berkeley for many years, Eribon was rewarded the prestigious Brudner Prize by Yale University in 2008. He has lectured in a great number of countries and, in the United States, at The New School, University of Chicago, Harvard University, Yale University, New York University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Virginia.