Archive Fevers

Tara Blake

The archive is a foreign country, or so we learn from Scarlett Durand, for whom it proves a country of ghosts that are foreign. Some haunt the mind, such as Freud and Derrida; some haunt old photographs, home movies, and faded typescripts, such as an 1930s American ethnographer, a troubled Swedish diplomat, and a suiciding Chinese his-torian; and some haunt Durand herself, such as a girl who cannot stop bleeding, and a scholar who cannot stop dreaming.’
John Schad

Experimenting with biography, critical theory, ethnography, plagiarism, and psychoanalytic interpretation, Tara Blake’s Archive Fevers is a challenging and highly subjective response to Derrida’s Archive Fever (1995).

Through a fictional email correspondence with her psychotherapist, Hannah Kublitz, from 1997-2011, the intellectual and personal life of a young, queer scholar, Scarlett Durand, and her growing archival delirium, anachronistically unfolds.

Established figures including Jacques Derrida, Sigmund and Anna Freud, Margaret Mead, and Avital Ronell, are approached as both thinkers and archives, their personal narratives, slips, and published mistakes taken up to make new meanings of their work.

Throughout the book runs Scarlett’s quest to expose the matriarchal qualities of the archive that she believes Derrida has repressed, and her struggle to know whether she is truly writing in her own voice and name or being ventriloquised by others.

‘Archive Fevers vividly captures the sheer weirdness of working with people who are dead or not-quite-alive. Archives collide here with traumatic memory, and the result is a book full of rich, unnerving colour.

Katharine Craik

Paperback | £10.00 (RRP: £12.99)
ISBN 978-1-911343-77-6