Tesugen

Stimulating Diversion

I once listened to a radio program about Jacques Derrida, a discussion among several people where it was told that his lectures were quite popular, that usually many people showed up. Elitist or not, the guy who said this also said that he thought that although many listeners couldn’t follow his reasoning, they liked the lectures because of the feeling that they were witnessing a thought process.

At ReadySteadyBook recently, an email interview with Maurice Blanchot’s translator, Charlotte Mandell:

Reading Blanchot is a little like watching someone think. You have to have patience, since his essays move by nuance and suggestion, and come to focus slowly. English readers – Americans especially – are used to being fed information; in the case of an essay, they’re used to the conventional statement-exposition-conclusion format. The nice thing about Blanchot (and the thing a lot of people find exasperating about him) is that he doesn’t follow that formula, or any formula for that matter. Often no conclusion is reached. The subject is examined, and questioned, and looked at from different angles, but never really resolved. I like that a lot – it’s sort of like reading poetry.

Often when I read things, or listen to radio interviews or discussions, or taking part in discussions myself, I find myself diverging in thought. And I’ve realized recently that this is often why I like particular texts or audio recordings: it’s not the content per se I like, but the extent to which it stimulates my own thinking. And I’m not sure it’s just the content, but the pace, the cadence.

Recently, several of John Tusa’s interviews have been stimulating (Anish Kapoor and Atom Egoyan, for instance); as have several of the articles in Ambidextrous and Kent McPhee’s paper on design theory and software design.

The above was posted to my personal weblog on November 15, 2005. My name is Peter Lindberg and I am a thirtysomething software developer and dad living in Stockholm, Sweden. Here, you’ll find posts in English and Swedish about whatever happens to interest me for the moment.

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