'Reading Saussure' might perhaps be regarded as controversial title for a study of a book which Saussure never wrote. In one sense, we can no more read Saussure who was the founder of Saussurean linguistics than we can read the Socrates who was the founder of Socratic philosophy. (...) (It may come as something of a shock today to realize that none of Saussure's three courses at Geneva was attended by more than a handful of students.)
Are the key concepts of the 'Cours' to be viewed as deriving specifially from the work of Humboldt, or Paul, or Gabelentz, or Durkheim, or Whitney ...? Or were they, as Bloomfield brusquely claimed in his review of the book (Bloomfield 1923), just ideas which had been 'in the air' for a long time?