Britain's first book blogger (November 2000)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Derrida - the movie

Today I have been mostly watching this fascinating fly-on-the-wall documentary about Derrida (via Fark Yaralari). Halfway through I remembered it was on December 1st, 2000 that I attended a lecture given by Derrida at Sussex University to mark the opening of the Centre for Modern French Thought. It was so cold in the lecture hall that Derrida wore a white scarf while his host wore a black one. He came across then as he does here: austere yet warm. From what I can remember, he lectured on hospitality, arguing that we must welcome strangers into our lives as if they were family (I think he even said "we should offer them our beds"!). The audience, made up of the cheerfully curious and of career-focussed tutors and postgraduates, tore into his arguments with demanding questions. He welcomed them in the spirit of his lecture; something I appreciated even if I couldn't follow the discussion. Sadly, both Derrida and the Centre for Modern French Thought (which hosted a video of the event) are now closed.

2 comments:

  1. Andrew10:31 pm

    I seem to recall a segment of the film where he claims that the eyes are the only part of the human body which do not age, which will come as news to suffers of cataracts and presbyopia everywhere ;-)

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  2. "austere yet warm" eh? True enough I suppose.

    It's this exact bit that it's great to see Slaˈvɔj ʒiˈʒɛk have a go at.

    A misquote, but anyway:

    I hate this fu**ing "we are all humans" game. Yes, of course, I project a facade, cold intellectual, but really, behind it, you know, I am human. I enjoy simple pleasures. I like chocloate cake, etc.

    NO! Rather I prefer to say: I am a monster! I only wear the face of a human.

    (More or less it, add spittle and frantic nose rubbery for authenticity.)

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