With Derrida, you can hardly misread him, because he’s so obscure.
Every time you say, “He says so and so,” he always says, “You misunderstood
me.” But if you try to figure out the correct interpretation, then that’s not
so easy. I once said this to Michel Foucault, who was more hostile to Derrida
even than I am, and Foucault said that Derrida practiced the method of
obscurantisme terroriste (terrorism of obscurantism). We were speaking
French. And I said, “What the hell do you mean by that?” And he said, “He
writes so obscurely you can’t tell what he’s saying, that’s the obscurantism
part, and then when you criticize him, he can always say, ‘You didn’t
understand me; you’re an idiot.’ That’s the terrorism part.” And I like that.
So I wrote an article about Derrida. I asked Michel if it was OK if I quoted
that passage, and he said yes.
From an interview with John Searle