J ean Baudrillard died March 6, 2007. His departure marked the dis-appearance of the last of the notables of the postwar traditions of French social thought. Only Claude Lévi-Strauss, approaching 100 years, survived

Baudrillard by two more years, but he had long been silent as a writer. To be sure, Baudrillard was not the greatest gure in the movement-even if it

is allowed that the French moment was a philosophical dispensation that deed the very idea of greatness. Great or not, so many of its important personages died before their time was up-Michel Foucault, most strikingly (1984), but also Nicos Poulantzas (1979), Roland Barthes (1980), Jacques Lacan (1981), Michel de Certeau (1986), Louis Althusser (1990), Felix Guattari (1992), Gilles Deleuze (1995), Emmanuel Lévinas (1995), Jean-François Lyotard (1998). en too there were those who died closer to Baudrillard’s time-Pierre Bourdieu (2002) and Jacques Derrida (2004). It was not that they were all young in death but that their followers desired more from them and mourned their silences. en again one marks the incompleteness and idiosyncrasy-the oddball irregularity-of such a list by adding names of others who had little important to do with tout Paris in the 1960s and after: Erving Goman (1982), Edward Said (2003), and Richard Rorty (2007)—each of whom engaged the French at a remove. Goman’s absent Self, Said’s orientalized English novel, and Rorty’s contingent philosophy beyond the mirror of nature were eerily close to the French preoccupations in their days. More than anything going on elsewhere in their days in North America where they were working, Goman, Said, and Rorty shared, if less intensely, an appreciation for the eclipse of the strongly centered modern culture. Aside from the early translators and heirs of the French in North America, in that early part of the period after 1968, only Immanuel Wallerstein’s e Modern World-System, I (1974) could be said to have been a critique of the Center-by a critic working in, if not of, North America.