Catching Up With…

November 28, 2007

I’ve always thought that it would be fun to do interviews at this site. Mostly I envisioned asking various presidential candidates for their opinions on the issues of the day, c’est a dire Little Rock Streetcar expansion, Brandy Taylor/Anne Hathaway/Pretty Feet/all the other favorites of Salad actualia, new items at the Senate cafeteria, and the Treaty of Westphalia. Unfortunately, it’s been very hard to get any presidential candidate to commit to giving an interview (mostly because they’re all of the opinion that Heroes Season 2 is as strong as season one, and that they will be president) so I’ve had to come up with something else to fill this space. So I present Yesterday’s Salad’s first ever conversation with the living challenged, Jacques Derrida.

But before we begin, allow me to deal with the objections that are no doubt being raised as I write. First, this is not Yesterday’s Salad’s first engagement with the no longer living. Shel Silverstein has been suggested as a Superman author, and some of my favorite neighbors are Zombies. And, a reason before the reason, as I mentioned in my comment to JT in the Shel Silverstein piece: “While the [wikipedia] undead page is totally unhelpful, it does remind me that Derrida used the myth of the undead to break down the binary between life and death. But something tells me Derrida was reaching on that one.”

While I’m not one to regularly disagree with so wise a scholar as Mr. Dailysalad, leading luminaries would. Yosef Hayyim Yerushalmi ends his excellent Freud’s Moses with a monologue addressed to Professor Freud, Isaac Bashevis Singer believed in demons, and Messers Freud and Derrida (who now gets a chance to argue his case) would certainly disagree with me. As Derrida explains in Archive Fever (at least in part, a reading of Freud’s Moses), Freud has made references to “real” ghosts in his writing. This has to do with the fact that there is a “truth of delusion, a truth of insanity or of hauntedness.” (87; emphasis in the original) This is analogous to the difference between a “historical truth” and a “material truth.” Something can have a real effect without having ever existed.

So without further ado, a few questions for Mr. Derrida:

1) Did you ever get a chance to watch Seinfeld? Or, do you still hold to your opinion that Deconstruction has no sitcoms, and people are wasting their time doing things that don’t involve reading Deconstruction? (see here for some background, and don’t see Derrida) Read the rest of this entry »