We couldn’t help but notice that since we issued our “modest defense” of Jacques Derrida, various arms of the media empire seem to have rethought their initial scorn towards the late French philosopher and his work. This critical reappraisal is most apparent in the New York Times, which offers this panegyric, revealing, among other things, that Derrida gave carnival masks to young children of American academics.
The Guardian has a more diverse sampling of opinion from across the pond, some pro and some con.
Less hagiographically sympathetic (and somewhat saucier) than the Times op-ed is Marco Roth’s piece in the upstart literary journal n+1, which has the virtue of describing a hot chick with whom the author attended Derrida’s lectures in Paris:
…I watched the raven haired girl who always wore a miniskirt and a fur coat, the sort of Parisienne I fantasized about meeting before my trip. She filled line after line of graph paper in a neat miniscule hand, never stopping. She seemed to be able to take him down verbatim. At the end, she would dash out of the hall. Where?
To sum up, the new media consensus seems to be “Derrida: Not Necessarily A Pernicious Nihilist Who Threatened The Very Foundation Of Western Society And Cutlture.” And, as always, dear reader, you heard it here first.
EARLIER: Confessions of a Teenage Deconstructionist
EVEN EARLIER: Jacques Derrida, 1930-2004
2 replies on “Last Derrida Post Ever”
Derrida is big. It’s philosophy that got small.
um…no. Philosophy got big, and readers got intimidated. Everyone wanted to “do theory” not realizing that deconstruction made a lot more sense after you understood structuralism, and before that Continental Philosophy, and before that, perhaps the Pre-Socratics. The interesting thing to me is that the liberationist phase didn’t last too long – the right uses bits of Derrida pretty successfully, to the great disappointment of all us liberals (who thought we might use it to dislodge some unfair aspects of the hegemony). However it all works out, Derrida was an important thinker and a great springboard to thought. And he was probably the more serious and careful reader I’ve ever encountered.