10.11.2004

Derrida dies

I discussed some of his influential ideas on literature here.

Although you often hear you have to read him in French, he's great fun in English, too, which he knew pretty well--in fact, if memory serves, some of his works were originally delivered in English.

I've found some of his work logically problematic, basing his principles on ideas of, say, science that rely on misperceptions of science. I think, too, sometimes even he is snared in his own verbal trickery.

That said, I love reading his work--very clever, very slow-going but rapturous to read--which can be poweful as a tool. Unfortunately, like all criminals, some academics tranform tools into bludgeons, trying to mangle perfectly well-built edifices of art in order to reconstruct another misshapen edifice from a single tool. Imagine building a house with only a hammer. Reading academic papers, one encounters an abundance of such narrow misapplications of theory.

Derrida, though, and his further contributions to thought will be missed.

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