Does the death of the author include the death of the theorist?
I’m not a fan of Derrida. I think he wrote foggy garbage and damaged the study of literature, producing a generation of academics who actively valued obscurity, polysyllabic technicalism and elf-indulgent wordplay over such unflashy virtues as coherency, logic and research.
I also think that, insofar as his theories can be pinned down, they are based on an out of date and false model of language – that of Saussure.
I’m as keen as anyone on the simple truth that common sense is frequently common nonsense. But sometimes, common sense is acting as a bullshit detector. And when someone tells you that all meaning is an illusion created by the interplay of context, that the deeper you look the less language means, the correct response is: Monsieur Derrida, it is the bullshit which you are talking.
Perhaps Derrida would have made a brilliant poet, or painter, or something; he certainly had a fertile mind and a sparkly way with words. He made a crap literary theorist, though.