Thursday, May 16, 2013


<My 50th belated post.>

I am preparing to move again. Why am I telling you this?

When I left the Berkman Center in 2011 I also left the U.S....a transatlantic move with a toddler is not something I would classify as easy to do smoothly. In the Sturm und crunch of the relocation I completely forgot to empty my desk at work.

A year into my time here, my colleagues shipped me the entire contents of that desk, including a whole set of clothes that I used to keep in a drawer in case of heavy rain (I commuted by bicycle year round). Also enclosed was a file folder filled with expressions of thanks – notes, letters, and cards that I saved over the years, many of which were the result of the Harvard Law School tradition of circulating thank-you notes the day before the Thanksgiving holiday (a tradition begun by then-Dean-now-Justice Elena Kagan). Seven years of cards. I am grateful for having learned the habit of thank-you notes. I wonder whether anyone kept any that I sent.

Today I am sifting through the folder. Remembering and relaxing my grip. A few memorable cards will accompany me back to the States. The balance will remain to be recycled by the BSR.

</My 50th belated post.>

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013



was the last course I taught at Queens College before dropping out of the Ph.D. Program in Comparative Literature at the City University of New York Graduate Center. For complex, personal reasons,* I have maintained the course's website online ever since – with a few changes.** Twelve years is a long time, I guess...twelve years that this course/website has been reachable in one place or another.*** Well, then: Here's to twelve more years of neglect, irrelevance, and pretension! And here's a snip of my sendoff from the last day of class:

If our pathway of reading, our course, has been a circulation among literary figurations, metaphors of virtual reality, then perhaps we should also say that virtual reality is itself a figure: for the unthought or the unthinkable. Perhaps virtual reality is one name we offer for nothingness.