Friday, December 7, 2012

I'm enjoying Benoit Peeters Derrida: A Biography.  This morning I was particularly charmed by this passage in which Avital Ronnell tells the story of her first meeting with Derrida:

"I'd come to this conference with my friend Gisele Celan-Lestrange, Celan's widow.  At that time, my status was unclear: I was still something of a student, even though I'd already begun teaching.  I wasn't prepared for this meeting, on that day.  I didn't think there would be so few of us in the hall. During the break, Derrida came over to me and asked me who I was. I don't know why I replied: 'But...don't you recognize me?'  He gazed at me in embarrassment. ', I don't think so.'  I insisted. "Really?  But that's not very nice.  I'm metaphysics.'  I was staging myself like an effect of his text.  He was dumbstruck, a bit lost: 'So, you're metaphysics...?'  I'd been hoist by my own petard, and more or less obliged to carry on with the game.  I added something like: 'Yes, and I don't much like the way you've been treating me up until now...'"  (308)

Isn't that marvelous?

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