Rough Theory

Theory In The Rough

Notes to Self

I recently received an urgent request from a reader for a copy of an article I had discussed on the blog some months ago. The article is in fact quite difficult to find – the reading group had trouble sourcing it – and so I was happy to help out. I offered to scan and email the article the next time I was in the office.

Now that I’m here, and having rediscovered the hiding place of this particular document – conveniently filed in a pile of completely unrelated reading materials – I see that my only copy of the text is covered with my own marginal comments. Anyone who has seen my handwriting knows that it is beyond illegible, so any substantive remarks I’ve made on the document are probably quite safe from being deciphered. What is legible, unfortunately, is an embarrassing number of impatient and exasperated ventings, including the occasional “No!”, the periodic melodramatic “sigh”, and one off-kilter smiley face… While this text admittedly contains nothing as bizarre as the marginalia for my copy of Hegel’s Phenomenology, I nevertheless find myself blushing at the thought that I have committed to passing on to someone else a text annotated with my own temperamental outbursts, interspersed with illegible “substantive” scrawlings that read to me now rather like I’ve been caught in the act of pacing around like a mad person, ranting at the absent author…

The things we assume no one will see…

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2 responses to “Notes to Self

  1. rob June 12, 2007 at 11:23 am

    Ever seen Nick Thurston’s Reading the Remove of Literature — an edition of Maurice Blanchot’s L’Espace littéraire, in which “not a word of Blanchot’s text remains”, but where, in its stead, is reproduced Thurston’s “own marginalia, reset in the face and fonts of the original text” (from Ed’s Intro.)?

  2. N Pepperell June 12, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    LOL! That’s a lovely image :-)

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