The Corner

“More French Than The French”

In today’s Boston Globe, a writer takes a stab at helping us understand the legacy of French intellectual Jacques Derrida, who died a week ago: “What did I expect from Derrida himself that I couldn’t get in a course on Deconstruction and Literary Theory at an American graduate school? Somehow I wanted to become French, but more French than the French. French and other. American and other. Self and other. Deconstruction was the language of this impossible desire, as I then knew it.”

I’m not sure that makes anything clearer. Mark Molesky and I–who have never aspired to being “more French than the French”–wrote on Derrida here.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.