Friday, July 11, 2008

The Art of Reading Slowly

[photo of sunset on Lake Erie]

One of the things I did this summer -- which I have not done on previous trips -- is organize a small reading group over at my alma mater, Wake Forest. Tonight was our first meeting, and may I just say it was amazing. We're reading The Politics of Friendship by Jacques Derrida, and tonight's session ended up being a slow reading-aloud of the majority of the second chapter of the book, pausing over things that were difficult, and slowly unraveling the language. It was only three of us, but it was lovely -- I'd forgotten how beautiful Derrida is.

A quote for the evening, though, will come from Nietzche, as quoted in the Derrida text -- from Beyond Good and Evil. It's apropos only of the friends it reminded me of -- for I have known of these friends of solitude -- and the fact that I thought the language was quite pretty (a quote for quoting's sake):

Is it any wonder we 'free spirits' are not precisely the most communicative of spirits?

(Derrida, 41)

Fascinating, too -- these spirits introduce so well the spectrality Derrida gets into around chapter five. But that's for another time.