But it’s already Saturday as of this writing. In the hope of organizing thoughts accumulated over the last month of torrent happiness, I’ve decided to do a weekly report on the things I end up watching and also reading. Film Friday has a ring to it, don’t you think? What goes with reading, I wonder? Book Wednesday, maybe? Or Book Monday? Excerpt Tuesday? Regardless, let me figure that one out. Eventually, something’s bound to come up.
In the meantime, let me tell you about Derrida and how much hearing his name makes me cringe the same way hearing the word “Foucault” makes me want to hurl myself onto a wall. It isn’t because I dislike them, apparently. It’s because a lot of people allude to them in class to sound smart and after reading a few articles, it’s become clear that most of the things said about certain works may actually be a load of bs excreted by the pseudo-intellectual. But anyway, if their analysis is wrong, that’s their problem. I just found it fitting to mention because I hadn’t touched either Foucault or Derrida before because I was scared I’d turn out talking like everyone else. Hopefully this doesn’t happen. I’ll limit the allusions as much as I can, I promise. But if you’ll indulge me, there’s this article called “The Other Heading” written by Derrida which we had to read for class awhile ago. I had difficulty with it like most of my classmates but I was just so shocked by the way he wrote. He has a way with words, obviously and while his points may not be as beautifully put as you would want them to be, he does write engagingly so that even if you don’t understand, you feel compelled to read–which is more than can be said of other philosophers who make us dis-eased then leave us there.
So anyway, this text is about European identity and the struggle to find it or pinpoint any kind of cultural identity in general. He argues certain ethics and deals with this nostalgia that “we” seem to have for spaces and places. He also makes lots of references to Paul Valery (with an accent on the ‘e’). Here is an excerpt:
…Valery defines the crisis of spirit as the crisis of Europe, of European identity and more precisely of European culture. Like all the names we are invoking, like all names in general, these designate at once a limit, a negative limit, and a chance. For perhaps responsibility consists in making the name recalled, of the memory of the name, of the idiomatic limit, a chance, that is, an opening of identity to its very future.
I’m fairly certain that this isn’t the best excerpt or a definitive one at that but it’s lines like this that make me remember why I’m studying to begin with. I mean, seriously. To talk about “our” nostalgia for systems/ways of being as a way by which violence is propagated or to say that names (and their appellation) are limits and chances at the same time…isn’t it amazing? I suppose if you have Derrida’s thoughts, you’d know how to live with that hairstyle too.
Seriously though, in the text he deals with this responsibility which David Campbell also talks about in his article this time to ground the text in the practical space as he explores deconstruction in light of the Yugoslavian case. There has to be more to say about this but right now I haven’t finished reading both articles so I’ll suspend whatever impressions for a later date and leave you with Derrida’s grave.
Apart from films and books, there has to be space for music and these MA articles as well. What do you think about Music Mondays, Book Wednesdays, MA Thursdays and Film Fridays? Then Surprise Sundays!