Derrida and being pretentious

When I say I have been reading Derrida again what I mean is I am challenging my brain and getting inspired at the same time. It may sound pretentious, like talking about Foucault, or Sartre, or Proust, because writers like these are just not read very much. Not many people have read Ulysses, or Proust, or Derrida. But should they? Am I doing the world a favor by even attempting to read this stuff?

I am not claiming to understand even half of what Derrida says. Here are a few quotes from him about Foucault:

This book, admirable in so many respects, power in its break and style, is even more intimidating for me in that, having formerly had the good fortune to study under Michel Foucault, I retain the consciousness of an admiring and grateful disciple. Now, the disciple’s consciousness, when he starts, I would not say to dispute, but to engage in dialogue with the master or, better, to articulate the interminable and silent dialogue which made him into a disciple-this disciple’s consciousness is an unhappy consciousness.”

Cogito and The History of Madness (Routledge classics edition)

“The disciple must break the glass, or better the mirror, the reflection, his infinite speculation on the master. And start to speak.”

Cogito and The History of Madness, p.37 (Routledge classics edition)

“In writing a history of madness, Foucault has attempted-and this is the greatest merit, but also the very infeasibility of his book to write a history of madness itself. Itself. Of madness itself. That is by letting madness speak for itself.”

Cogito and The History of Madness, p.37 (Routledge classics edition)

I do not have the credentials or come even close to really knowing either of these writers very well, but I do try. And by trying I think I elevate my brain, I test and challenge myself in ways that Netflix or Instagram do not. Ways to pass the time, relax, recover from my corporate day job. Just reading the introduction to this Derrida book was inspiring to me.

Essays, poetry, and prose. Published novelist, working on memoir/ novel, art, and other things.

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