Sunday, September 2, 2007

Definitionally Speaking

"My school-days! The silent gliding on of my existence - the unseen, unfelt progress of my life - from childhood up to youth! Let me think, as I look back upon that flowing water, now a dry channel overgrown with leaves, whether there are any markers along its its course, by which I can remember how it ran."
-"David Copperfield"

I am always meeting interesting, informed people in (and not in) this profession. They tell good stories, they share charming anecdotes, and they quote philosophers. I get the feeling, alot of the time, that I am definitely (and definitionally) not-in-the-loop... I find myself wondering, as I listen to these charming, philosophically grounded anecdotes--do these books get read for fun? Is there some big, fun book club in which people discuss these things? How do I become a member?

Maybe this is not a definitional issue; perhaps it's disciplinary. Because you know what kind of books I read for fun? FUN BOOKS. Like Fitzgerald and Austen and "The Red Tent" and "Lord of the Rings" and stuff about traveling Swedes. The other stuff, the Agamben-Levinas stuff--that's work. And I have no problem with those two classifications-in fact, I kinda like the typology (I know, I know, E! is going to have a moment with this)... So I read work books during work time--and, apparently, retain none of the cute anecdote material. And I read fun books during fun time.

Oh, I can quote Dickens. Yes, I can.
Not so much with Heidegger.

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