It was a real pleasure, a delight to listen to this lecture at the Council Hall of the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures of The Bucharest University about a philosopher and intellectual that has triggered off as many appreciations as rebukes, so to say you either love or hate his theory od deconstructivism that has taken hold foremost in many American universities in the seventies of the former century – when also William R. Schultz listened as a student to a couple of the Frenchman’s lectures and was convinced of the truth in them. It had as a consequence a lifelong interest in the endeavors of Jacques Derrida. Professor Schultz has put together the most comprehensive bibliography of Derrida’s works and is one of the most staunch defenders of his theories. The discussions after the lecture were vivid, as was the introduction by one of the co-organizers of the event, Nikos Vlahakis, a diplomat at The Greek Embassy in Bucharest and also a poet with studies in philosophy, but also a good knowledge of the French philosopher’s deconstructivism. Furthermore, the short but condensed introductive contribution of Bogdan Ghiu, an accomplished translator and theoretician of literary translation and a great admirer of Jacques Derrida augmented the discussion that was to start. We show here the video of the lecture and discussions on that beautiful day in May 2023. (Peter Sragher)
Although Derrida started his career as a professional philosopher, it is ironic that he became famous because his ideas were widely accepted and rejected by literary critics. I would like to explain how some of his ideas could be inspirational for creative writers, too. I will select a few ideas from his philosophy, such as deconstruction and bricolage, add related ideas from famous literary theorists such as Mikhail Bakhtin, and suggest how they might help writers create new works. I believe the advice that I offer based on Derrida’s principles could apply to creators in other fields as well.
± Professor William Schultz completed thirty years of teaching and service at the Department of English Language and Literature of the NKUA in August 2020 (1989-2020). He primarily taught The Theory of Culture and The Theory and Criticism of Literature. At the same time, he taught a variety of introductory courses in literature and culture, as well as science fiction. Besides teaching, he served as the Director of the combined Postgraduate ΜΑ and PhD Program for two years, the Director of the Laboratory, a member of the Library Committee, a member of the three-member Doctoral Dissertation Committees at NKUA, but also at other Greek Universities, a member of language proficiency examination committees for a number of years at the National School of Public Administration, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a committee member of DIKATSA, an examiner of the courses of his specialty for university grants for several years, and a member of examination committees for doctoral candidates and postgraduate students.
In his extensive scientific and critical studies, he systematically dealt with the work of famous thinkers in the fields of philosophy, the theory of science and the theory and criticism of literature such as Ernst Cassirer, Susanne K. Langer, Jacques Derrida, Jean Francois Lyotard, Jean Baudrillard, Harold Bloom, and Alfred Kuhn. His books (Cassirer and Langer on Myth: An Introduction. New York: Garland, 2000, Genetic Codes of Culture? The Deconstruction of Tradition by Kuhn, Bloom, and Derrida. New York: Garland Publishing, 1994, και Jacques Derrida: An Annotated Primary and Secondary Bibliography. New York: Garland Publishing, 1992) have been published and republished by world-renowned publishers, purchased by American university libraries, and became university textbooks at German and American universities. In addition, Professor Schultz’s intellectual curiosity extended to other areas of culture, such as education, the myth of technology, and its role in the society of the future, through a series of articles and studies that have been translated into European languages and published in prestigious journals. Currently, he is completing a book on the theory of poetic creation, with the Romantic poets Coleridge, Wordsworth, and Shelley as the main examples. In October 2021 he was elected Professor Emeritus of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens unanimously.