The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

August 6, 2017

August 6, 2010

Tony Judt  (January 2, 1948 to August 6, 2010)  has been quoted as saying that in his native England his views led to the label of Fascist, but when he was in the U.S, where he taught most of his career, he was called a Marxist. Judt was a leading historian of ideas, especially modern French intellectual history.  His explication of Sartre's moral fluidity is an example of his analysis. The author of  Past imperfect: French intellectuals, 1944-1956, (1992) describes the heirs of "Lacan, Foucault, Derrida, Barthes, Lyotard, Bourdieu, Boudrillard" in this way:

In the United States... the second generation of  postwar Parisian intellectuals remains an admired and much imitated group...Deconstruction, postmodernity, poststructuralism thrive [everywhere]...except Paris. With this difference: for good or ill, French intellectuals mattered in their own culture, and in the international culture of which it was the center. By contrast their admirers and imitators in English-speaking  universities matter not at all...For them a Foucault reading group...simulates membership in an intellectual community of which they were never a part...[Their roots in a vanished French vitality have left just]  a postmodern Cheshire Cat with a Ph.D...

Judt's “The Burden of Responsibility: Blum, Camus, Aron and the French Twentieth Century” (1998) continues Judt's analysis of modern intellectual history. These are just two of several books
he wrote defining the modern world. 

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