Adieu, Jacques

Jacques Derrida died on Saturday. I just found out. I hadn’t known he was sick. It was primarily his work (and to a lesser extent that of his own inspirations, Freud and Heidegger) that led me to study critical theory for my M.A. I even made a pilgrimage of sorts to Oxford to see him speak (it was during the same trip that he was awarded his controversial honorary degree from Cambridge).
People claim he was difficult to read. He was difficult to read, but not because he was trying to be difficult. His difficulty arose instead because he understood that the style in which one says something cannot be divorced from what one is saying, and he was trying to write in a style that was both a part of an extremely long intellectual heritage and simultaneously trying to depart from it. For my own part, I always found it easiest to read him while listening to be-bop jazz in the background. He shall be missed. – SWL

Adieu, Jacques

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