Monday, May 18, 2009

die Anreise

I arrived in Wiesbaden yesterday morning after what was perhaps the most pleasant flight of my entire life. The difference a friendly and competent flight attendant, a wonderful travel partner, a new airplane, and a challenging book make! The seat, however, was far less than functionally comfortable, and my legs and hips still ache.

Most of the nine hours in transit were spent reading Derrida's Of Grammatology. Although after almost seven hours total spent reading, I am just now close to being done with Part I, which ends on page 26. Spivak's less-than-intelligible and poorly written Preface prevented me from diving headfirst into the text. Since I'm such an intense reader, I never feel like I can skip technical apparatuses such as prefaces, introductions, or end notes. When I finish a book for the first time, I will have read every single word from cover to cover, and usually multiple times. My assessment: Spivak, as a (traitor) translator--excellent; Spivak as a writer and thinker--not so much. I think when people criticize postmodernist philosophy and writing, they're really talking about Spivak, assuming that all postmodern writing is like hers. She may not speak for the subaltern, but she sure can write like an uneducated one.

Well, it is currently 4:06 AM in Wiesbaden, Germany. I've been up since about 2:30. Jet lag and nausea and hunger pangs on a full stomach are par for the course. I'll certainly need to nap tomorrow afternoon, after Chris and Mary leave for St. Petersburg. Stephen and I will spend the next few days taking day trips throughout southern Hessen and Rheinlandpflaz. I'm mostly interested in seeing Marburg again after almost two years since studying there as well as visiting Worms. Touring the Bingen region again would also be nice, especially if we can buy a few bottles of the Hildegard wine to take home.

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