I dreamed I was drinking with Jacques Derrida at a bar. Of Grammatology sits beside me now that I am awake. Even though I read it two years ago, it beckons me to read it again.

Spivak, in her preface to the book, says that every reading of a text is a preface to the next reading. Poetry and other reading fall beside the wayside. Philosophy comes round again as if all reading before was merely a preface to this visit.

This post is a preface to the next.

Published in: on June 17, 2008 at 4:09 pm  Comments (2)  

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  1. What a dream, Lynn.

    My wife and I had the distinct joy of gate-crashing a seminar with Derrida several years ago here in Denmark, and just being in the presence of this handsome, distinguished, and hugely stimulating man is something I’ll never forget. I’ve been so inspired by his writings.

    Spivak is right, as is Deleuze when he writes,

    The painter does not paint on an empty canvas, and neither does the writer write on a blank page, but the canvas and page is always so covered with preexisting, pre-established cliches that it is first necessary to erase, to clean, to flatten, even to shred, so as to let in a breath of air from the chaos that brings us the vision.

    (D&G: What Is Philosophy, p. 204)

  2. Orla,

    Crashing a Derrida seminar: I love it.

    Your quotation from D&G has made me want to reread the book even though I read it not long ago. I took your advice and read it all the way through without stopping to meditate on it too much. The first reading was a preface. I really should read it again for reinterpretation and new meaning.

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