Critique 5/13 | READINGS: An Althusser Bibliography

Primary Reading

Reading Capital by Louis Althusser, Étienne Balibar, Roger Establet, Pierre Macherey and Jacques Rancière (1965)

Focus on these 3 extracts from Reading Capital

Louis Althusser on “Symptomatic reading,” from Reading Capital, Part One, pages 9-28.

Louis Althusser on “Historical Time” and “Marxism not a Historicism,” from Reading Capital, Part Four, Chapters 4 and 5, pages 237-295.

Jacques Rancière on “Science and Critique,” from Reading Capital, Part Two, Chapter 2, pages 150-169.

Commentaries and Reactions

Althusser’s Marx.” Leszek Kolakowski

Considerations on Western Marxism” Anderson Perry.

History of Science and Science of History.” Maria Turchetto. The Althusserian Legacy, by E. Ann Kaplan and Michael Sprinker, Verso, 2010, pp. 73–80.

How to Use Lire le Capital,” Jacques Rancière. Economy and Society. 28 Jul 2006. 377-384.

Marxism and Historicism,The Ideologies of Theory Essays 1971-1986 Volume II: The Syntax of History, Frederic Jameson. History of Literature, Vol. 49.

Le Recommencement du Materialisme Dialectique,” Alain Badiou. Critique. 23:240. May, 1967. 438-467.


Additional References (a selection of commentaries pro et contra)

Banu Bargu & Robyn Marasco: “The Political Encounter with Louis Althusser“, (2019) Rethinking Marxism, 31:3, 239-241

Louis Althusser: “Freud and Lacan” (1963) in New Left Review 1/55 May-June 1969

Louis Althusser: “Is it Simple To be A Marxist in Philosophy?” in Essays in Self-Criticism, New Left Books (1976), pp. 163–215

Louis Althusser: “On Marx and Freud” (1976), Rethinking Marxism, 4/1, 1991,

Louis Althusser: “The Underground Current of the Philosophy of the Encounter”, in Philosophy of the Encounter. Later Writings 1978-1987, Verso, London and New York, 2006

Perry Anderson: Considerations on Western Marxism, NLB 1976/Verso 1979 (especially chapters 3 and 4)

Etienne Balibar : “Eschatology versus teleology : The suspended dialogue between Derrida and Althusser”, In Pheng Cheah & Suzanne Guerlac (eds.), Derrida and the Time of the Political. Duke University Press (2009)

Etienne Balibar : “Althusser’s dramaturgy and the critique of ideology » (replies by Butler, Montag, Ophir, Bargu, Robbins, Liu, Cohen Shabot), Differences 26 (3):1-22 (2015)

Emilio De Ipola: “Althusser. The Infinite Farewell”, translated by Gavin Arnall, preface by Etienne Balibar, Duke University Press, 2018

Gilles Deleuze : “How Do We Recognize Structuralism?” (1972) (reprinted in Desert Island and other texts)

Stuart Hall: “Signification, representation, ideology: Althusser and the post‐structuralist debates”, Critical Studies in Mass Communications, Volume 2, 1985/2

Jean Hyppolite: “A new perspective on Marx and Marxism » (1971), Pli 24 (2013)

Leszek Kolakowski : « Althusser’s Marx », in Socialist Register (1971)

Warren Montag: Althusser and His Contemporaries. Philosophy’s Perpetual War, Duke University Press 2013

Edward Palmer Thompson: The Poverty of Theory or an Orrery of Errors (1978), Monthly Review Press 2008

The Concept in Crisis: Reading Capital Today, edited by Nick Nesbitt, Duke University Press 2017