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« This Last Two Weeks' Acquisitions | Main | When fiction slides into your footnotes as fact »

October 14, 2018


Bill Benzon

You know, Miriam, I got rather deeply interested in the Ronell affair and became curious about her work. I looked for something short to read. I found it in a 2005 collection of Derrida tributes in PMLA. Some very good stuff there and some, well... Ronell's piece was very well written, very witty. And utterly self-absorbed. In her two opening paragraphs she anoints herself as the new ruler of the Duchy of Deconstruction. And the editors of that august journal let her get away with it.

But the real piece of work was Houston Baker's little star turn. It's mostly about how he became of deconstruction and then began deconstruction. At the climax he has dinner with Derrida and other at the School for Criticism and Theory. Here's his opening sentence about the man hisownbadself: "He was unpretentious, yet scintillating." In five words, only five words, he's transformed the Master into a bottle of wine. It goes downhill from there.

Theory, meh.

Bill Benzon

Whoops! "...became of aware deconstruction and then began deconstructing."

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