(Homage to Jacques Derrida, October 8, 2004)
For Barbara Johnson
On the day of Jacques Derrida's death I found on my
bookshelf a fallen page from Of Grammatology with pencil marks and
scribbled Russian words in the margins. The text spoke about "the
end of the book and the beginning of writing" and about metaphorical
transports. I remembered that one of the first courses I ever took
in English was Barbara Johnson's Deconstruction in the Fall of 1983.
Ironically the first theoretical text I studied in English happened
to be Gayatri Spivak's translation of Of Grammatology. For a recent
immigrant from Russia, this was a strange "beginning of writing"
in a foreign language. My English and my entire way of thinking would
never be the same.