It is impossible to read Rue Ordener, Rue Labat without remembering that Sarah Kofman (1934–94) took her own life some seven months after this short personal narrative appeared in France, in March 1994. It was not exactly the Sorbonne philosopher’s last book—a collection of essays, L’Imposture de la beauté (1995), had been prepared for publication—and it was brought out simultaneously (perhaps tellingly) with her re-examination of Nietzsche’s supposed anti-Semitism, Le Mépris des Juifs: Nietzsche, les Juifs, l’antisémitisme (1994). Yet this memoir of her father’s deportation to Auschwitz and of her own survival as a Jewish girl during the Occupation stands out harrowingly in a scholarly oeuvre that is as extensive and multifarious as it is remarkably little-related to the tragedies of her own childhood. Until writing this skeletal, though no less compelling account of how she and her mother endured the war in Paris, Kofman had addressed her experiences in only two fragments, “Damned Food” and “Nightmare: At the Margins of Medieval Studies” (both translated in the review SubStance, No. 49), and indirectly in her work on the concentration camp survivor and memorialist Robert Antelme and the novelist and critic Maurice Blanchot (see Smothered Words , 1987). As Ann Smock reminds us in her sensitive introduction to her translation of Rue Ordener, Rue Labat , Kofman had written on Plato, Socrates, Rousseau, Diderot, Auguste Comte, E.T.A. Hofmann, and above all Freud and Nietzsche. Yet, if Rue Ordener, Rue Labat is Kofman’s only full-fledged autobiographical work, it seems to have been a long-nurtured, long-avoided project. “Maybe all my books,” avows Kofman from the outset, “have been the detours required to bring me to write about ‘that.’”