Professor Ian Maclachlan

Tutor in French, Professor of French Literature

The main focus of my research is on modern French literature and philosophy, and especially the relationship between those domains. I have worked on writers and thinkers such as Maurice Blanchot, Jacques Derrida, Samuel Beckett, Roger Laporte, and Jean-Luc Nancy, and on topics that include literary time, reading and the senses, the role of the imagination, and the responsibilities of the writer. Life-writing is another interest of mine, as is reflected in my recent study of the autobiographical works of Louis-René des Forêts.


French language and literature, especially of the 19th and 20th centuries; literary theory; modern French philosophy.


My most recent book is a study of one modern French author’s innovative approach to life-writing: Louis-René des Forêts and Inner Autobiography. Prior to that, in a book entitled Marking Time, I explored temporalities of writing and reading in relation to Derrida, Blanchot, Beckett, des Forêts, Laporte and Klossowski. My first book, Roger Laporte: The Orphic Text, examined Laporte’s writings in the context of the thought of Heidegger, Levinas, Blanchot and Derrida. I have edited a collection of essays on the work of Derrida, co-edited collections on reading and the senses, and on Derrida’s landmark book Of Grammatology, and edited a special issue of Forum for Modern Language Studies on the writer and responsibility. I also serve as an editor of Paragraph: A Journal of Modern Critical Theory.