I had read/heard about this earlier in the week, that Jean Baudrillard died. To be honest, I hadn’t thought much about Baudrillard since I finished up my dissertation way back when. I won’t rehash all of that now (though, as part of my “blogs as writerly spaces,” I might have to), but some of Baudrillard’s thinking figured into my re-conception of rhetorical situation, particularly Baudrillard’s notion of the “hyperreal.” At the time, I spent a fair amount of time talking about his thin volume, The Gulf War Did Not Take Place (this is a link to a reprinted version of the book, btw).
One of the critiques on this amazon.com page says (basically) that Baudrillard played too “loose and fast” with his thinking to be taken seriously by “real academics.” I don’t know about that. At the same time, I am not sure how much Baudrillard will be figuring into my future work. Or let me put it this way: I think Derrida will remain an important theorist for a long time, as Foucault has. I’m not so sure about Baudrillard.
BTW, I have often thought that Baudrillard would be a great name for a big wooly dog, and that Derrida would be a great name for a very aloof cat.