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Odds and Ends

A weekend in which I expected to accomplish a lot once again dissolves. A few thoughts.

Derrida dies. Read Michael Martone’s lovely essay about Baltimore and (tangentially) Derrida’s arrival in the 1960’s. .

1966. Derrida arrives in Baltimore, twenty-nine city blocks north of where we are now, to deliver, for the first time on these shores, the obituary of the author. At the very moment the construction of authorship in America is evolving from the romantic individual genius to the romantic individual genius with tenure. Later, Derrida is taken to a crab house on Belair Road where he is instructed in the procedure for disassembling the steamed Maryland blue crab. He is a quick study. He becomes proficient at removing the carapace, the feathery lungs and mustard some consider a delicacy, adept at cracking the claws with knife and wooden mallet, extracting the lump meat from the compartments of cartilage. The flesh of the crab is like soap. The act of consuming consumes him.

I met Derrida personally after a lecture he gave about the phrase, “Oh, my friend, there is no friend.” I even wrote a poem about the experience (where is it?).

I watched Tarkovsky’s lovely film, “Solaris” which moved me terribly. solaris still. D.K Holm writes (though not quite admiringly)

Tarkovsky… was not a natural filmmaker. He might have been better off, say, as a painter, or a poet, or in the theater. But in movies (which, by the way, are suppose to move) he imposed a disastrously slow pace and a plodding narrative-line which frustratingly preferred to withhold information from the viewer rather than inform them.

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