Last Derrida Post Ever

snowyhairedderrida.jpgWe 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


Rooting for the Overdog

mussina.jpgAs gratifying as it is to win these games, they have become so excessively fraught that to watch them is emotionally taxing in the extreme. I thought I’d be able to relax and get some work done when the Yankees opened up an eight run lead, but the Red Sox regrouped, metastasized, and emerged with a deadlier-than-ever assault. Clearly, they pose a threat that requires constant vigilance. Some day, they will win — perhaps tomorrow. It’s not a question of if, but when.

It may be unpopular and controversial to put it this way, but I think we have to get back to the place we were, where the Red Sox are not the focus of our lives, but they’re a nuisance. We’re never going to end this rivalry. But we’ve got to reduce it to a level where it isn’t on the rise. It isn’t threatening people’s lives every day, and it’s not threatening the fabric of your life.


Confessions of a Teenage Deconstructionist

Ceci est une PipeWe all have our youthful indiscretions, those young and irresponsible things that we did when we were young and irresponsible. Senator Robert Byrd, for example, was in the Klan, while George W. Bush was a cheerleader at Andover, and, most seriously of course, John Kerry was a war hero.
My own modest indiscretion is that I Was A Teenage Derridian. Yes, as a literature major in the early 90’s, I was inundated with the “critical theory” associated with various continentals from Adorno to Deleuze to Foucault and most of all, Jacques Derrida. And let me make it clear that I was not merely the victim of all this theory; in fact, I eagerly sought it out. Indeed, some witnesses even report that I had Derrida’s famous statement “il n’ya pas de hors-text” [“there is nothing outside the text”] stencilled upon my cap at graduation.
[Long, boring article follows below the break.]