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[Xmca-l] Re: now out in paperback

Hi Peter,

Thanks for your thoughtful reply!

See, it's like this: I fear that using the phrase "indifference to the reader's sensibilities" would be like criticizing the (long dead) authors of the Ancient World for writing their texts on papyrus and how this material lit up in the burning of Alexandria's library. In other words, I think it's more the environment to blame, even Physics! than the author, if there is blame to lay down about indifference!  :)

Of course I didn't mean to propose mind reading, but I was just thinking of the many possibilities that may have the same identical result as what you have deemed as indifference. 

You are on to something about guessing motives that they are possibly not safe to entertain, and that we should focus on the facts, which are that we are all of us frustrated in one way or another to read Vygotsky, and perhaps we feel fear that he is indifferent to us? I'm not sure if that is a more reasonable assessment, but it seems more accurate?

I am very very intrigued by the arresting image of a writer smoking his work away when you describe Bakhtin. There is a strange inversion of metaphors here! of eating one's words by inhaling and smoking them, which is even more ironic that this story is about Bakhtin of all people who conceived of an utterance that extended in time beyond the life of the utterer. (Is this a WORD? utterer?)

Thanks for sharing those stories. There is also an interesting parallel here I'm drawing about Irene Némirovsky in terms of guessing motives of the writer. She was attempting to write in Nazi-occupied France and some how she managed to do it as long as she lived. She is quoted here (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/26/books/26nemirovsky.html) as saying, “I’m working on burning lava.” 

I don't think I can consider what it would be like to write on lava, burning or otherwise!

Still I think your observation about paper scraps was a real fact of the war! Even Alice Kober had this challenge when she was working to crack Linear B.

I cannot imagine what it would be like not to have paper to write upon when I wanted to write upon it. But when I sit here and consider when is the last time I used paper to write upon, it was a Post It note for my grocery list. Other than that it's been configuring pixels!

Kind regards,