Joel Swanson in Forward:
Albert Memmi, the great Tunisian-born French Jewish intellectual, passed away in Paris last Friday at the age of 99. He was arguably the last surviving member of a generation of great mid-20th-century Francophone intellectuals.
Sadly, few in the English-speaking world seemed to notice. While major French, German and Hebrew news sources reported on his passing, for the most part, English language news sources have not. Memmi has not received an obituary in The New York Times or the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal. A man once considered so important to midcentury French intellectual life that no less than Camus and Sartre wrote introductions to his earliest works is gone, and the English-speaking world has barely taken notice.
How did this happen? How did a man who was once the darling of the French existentialist left, and who was once considered as foundational for early post-colonial theory as Frantz Fanon and Edward Said are today, come to be so thoroughly forgotten in the United States?