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Monday, April 28, 2008


Deux guerriers ont couru l'un sur l'autre...

For those interested in such things, the long promised duel between LCC and Jackie Derrida is finally commencing in earnest. Yours truly is in attendence as J.D.'s second.

PS - We are still dueling over there, though we are a little off topic - not too much, I hope. Entertaining stuff for those who enjoy liberal-Marxist dialog - and let's face it, who doesn't?

In this duel, LCC overlooks my sometimes off topic meandering - as, for instance, that I have signally failed to really reference Derrida yet. And I overlook LCC's mimicry of Jacques Derrida as a sort of malevolent Punch, starring in a remake of the Exorcist underwritten by Encounter Magazine.


Anonymous said...

I just came here to say that, you know, if there was a magic wand, I'd be waving it, of course.

Anonymous said...

LI, the above anon comment is not from me. If I were to partake of that little duel over there it would not be as anon. I don't have a magic wand or need one to discern that it is anything but a duel.


Roger Gathmann said...

All duels attract anonymous notes. Pushkin's, for instance - as Akhmatova puts it, the le coup decisif is an anonymous letter, fabricated, perhaps, by the Dutch embassy, implying an unmentionable relationship between d'Anthes and Pushkin's wife. And of course, the rumors. From Akhmotovna:

Here one recalls Baron Byuller's story: "Lev Pushkin learned for the first time all the insidious provocations that led to his brother's duel from a detailed, highly entertaining story told by Count Vielgorsky at Odoyevsky's in the 1840s. It is awkward even now to print what I heard then."

Who would know more about insidious provocations than Anna A.? And can't you just hear that Russian nobility giggling as it recounts the trap into which they pushed the poet to the poet's brother?

Well, so there are duels with much bigger costs. This is more a friendly rehearsal. Unfortunately, the duel was too engrossing, and now I'm behind on my editing, so I am not able to stand my ground. I'm pressed hard, but I will return! Maybe thursday.

Anonymous said...

LI, ah yes, Anna A. knew a thing or two about duels.
For a certain class of Marxists, she is a traitor to the Cause. Rather than write a Hymn to the oh so Pure Triumph of the Cause she risked writing its Requiem in the midst of its Triumph. She had the temerity to not repeat by rote the speeches from the proper authorities but to respond to another woman, a mere woman and a stranger waiting with her in a line, before a prison. Yes the Pure Cause has its prisons - and its secret police.

"In the terrible years of the Yezhovshcina, I spent seventeen months in the prison lines in Leningrad. Then a woman standing behind me, whose lips were blue with cold, and who naturally enough had never heard of my name, emerged from that state of torpor common to us all and, putting her lips close to my ear (there, everyone spoke in whispers) asked me:
- And could you describe this?
And I answered her:
- I can.
Then something like a smile flashed across what once had been her face."

And Akhmatova did, she wrote that poem. Now that is a duel!

Even if she couldn't put poems to paper let alone sign them or publish, for that would have meant arrest, deportation, torture and death - and not just for her but those around her. She wrote it, recited it, in her heart and memory and body, night after night, waiting for that day, o when the time comes, the time to come.

She wrote other poems as well "during that time". A class of Marxists will tell you - so secure and assured in what is proper to poetry as well as politics and history - that these are mere love poems, woman stuff, that don't really respond to the "heights" of the time.
These so-called Marxists also own suffering and its property rights. No wonder they would not like Anna's lines

"No, this is not me, this is somebody else that suffers."

LI, yes, Anna has a sense of duel alright, of a real duel to death and beyond. How to measure this duel and it's stage and time? It has everything to do with promises, poisonous gifts and debt. And of that impure "impure impure history of ghosts".

"In order for there to be any sense in asking oneself about the terrible price to pay, in order to watch over the future, everything would have to be begun again. But in memory, this time,of that impure "impure impure history of ghosts."
(Derrida, Specters of Marx)