Today I was talking to a friend about writing a book on a particular figure, in part to “get them out of your system” — or at the very least, to clarify their influence somewhat so that it hopefully becomes something more contained or consciously controlled. For me, probably the best figure to write about for that purpose is the one I actually did write about: Zizek. At this point, he is probably still the greatest single influence on my thought (aside from teachers), but going forward, his influence is less likely to become an endlessly proliferating thing because I have clarified what is important to me about him. Writing a study of Derrida may also be helpful to me in a similar way.
And so I ask you, my dear readers: do you have any figure who falls in this category? (And am I being clear on what I mean?)