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. 'Er...no, 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?