introducing readers to writers since 1995

October 10, 2004

Jacques Derrida, 1930-2004

by Ron Hogan

derrida.jpgDerrida was an "abstruse theorist" according to NYT, but I prefer to remember him as a "subsidized thinker," in the terms I once suggested a friend of mine who'd been awarded a fellowship to UC-Irvine use when introducing himself to the deconstructionist legend.

It's a bit of a shame that the Paul de Man scandal nearly overwhelms the Times summary of Derrida's life, but then I suppose it's easier than trying to make sense of deconstruction theory. But then as he himself said, when asked to supply a definition, "It is impossible to respond. I can only do something which will leave me unsatisfied."


Subsidized Thinker is an excellent definition.

Posted by: avi at October 10, 2004 03:36 AM

No doubt the good readers of this board are all well-versed in literary theory, post-modernism, post-structuralist hegelian-marxist critical analytical deconstructionist theory... (sigh) For anyone else, though (like myself), I can recommend this (very funny) explanation of deconstruction.

Posted by: Daniel at October 10, 2004 10:47 PM

HA! It's like a shorter, pithier version of Fashionable Nonsense.

Posted by: editor at October 10, 2004 10:57 PM

The Times also failed to point out Derrida's New York connection: He'd been teaching at the New School's Graduate Faculty for years...

Posted by: Sarah at October 11, 2004 10:49 AM
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