Oxford University Press has a new series they're calling the "After Series." They are collections of essays, and Foucault and Derrida are the first of them. Two of their offerings are reviewed in a recent number of the Times Literary Supplement. It's an interesting read. The objective is to assess the enduring impact, if any, of Foucault, Derrida (and the rest of that gang) on the actual world of literary criticism. On the one extreme we have Francis Fukuyama (a student of Paul de Man): "I decided it was all bullshit." On the other hand is the plea not to allow all the controversy about those thinkers to dismiss entirely their intellectual legacies. Inevitably things quickly become political. We have Steve Bannon recently claiming his goal is "deconstruction of the administrative state." Maybe Bannon actually has read these folks, but more likely he's just appropriating some of their language. It's not a long review and is I think an interesting one.

The result is a refreshing and welcome intellectual intervention that avoids the traps of bloodless hagiography or blanket denunciation that often ensnare critical discussions around weighty intellectual figures in general, never mind the alleged progenitors of the twenty-first century's cultural decline. Both After Foucault and After Derrida take the -- distinctly postmodern -- approach that one's disembodied textual legacy is worthier of critical dissection than one's character.
I think that last sentence is kind of cute -- it's kind of a dissolving of the "author function" beloved of deconstructionists.