Monday, October 11, 2004

Thanks Derrida

French literary theorist Jacques Derrida known for his theory of deconstruction died on Friday. I never happily read him, his writing was too dense and I had no passion to figure it out. I do appreciate what he did, however. I think his groundbreaking work helped feminist scholars advance their work and allowed Foucault to create his theories. The Guardian suggests

What was important was that deconstruction held that no text was above analysis or closed to alternative interpretation. It is no coincidence that it came into vogue in the 1960s and 1970s, when many cultural and social institutions were being challenged. As a result, Derrida became popular among those willing to question the sterile idea of a "western canon" who wanted to expand literary discourse so that writers such as Mary Elizabeth Braddon could sit alongside the Brontes. Thanks to Derrida, many new voices were heard.
I agree with the assessement. No matter what you may think of his theories, he was a great and influential mind, and when great minds die, it's always sad.