October 10, 2004

Jacques Derrida, R.I.P.

Posted by Ed

I don't have anything to say about the death of Jacques Derrida that hasn't already been said by someone who knows his work much better than I do. Until a few minutes ago, I therefore wasn't planning to write anything about him at all. But then I came across an anecdote in this BBC obituary that I just had to share:

He was so influential that last year a film was made about his life - a biographical documentary.

At one point, wandering through Derrida's library, one of the filmmakers asks him: "Have you read all the books in here?"

"No," he replies impishly, "only four of them. But I read those very, very carefully".

The New York Times obituary of Derrida features another choice tidbit: he originally hoped to become a professional soccer player. Who would have guessed?

Scott McLemee has written a Derrida obituary for The Chronicle of Higher Education. (It actually deals with its subject's ideas, which is a rarity in an obituary these days!)

Posted by Ed at October 10, 2004 04:03 PM

> he originally hoped to become a professional soccer player ...

Which brings to mind Ian Frazier's takeoff on Beckett's alternative career (when asked what he would have liked to have done had he not become a writer, he chose commercial airline pilot; thus, 'LGA-ORD').

Posted by: nnyhav at October 13, 2004 02:43 PM
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