Thursday, July 07, 2005

"The Bus Has Long Since Pulled Out And Here I Stand At The Side Of The Road. In The Rain."

Excellent interview with David Markson in Bookslut, here. Particularly love the ending.

I read Wittgenstein's Mistress when I was an undergraduate and enjoyed it very much, although I suspect that my near-total (and ongoing) ignorance of philosophy meant that I missed a lot of clever stuff. I subsequently resisted the temptation to bluff Wittgensteinia at parties based on this book, knowing deep in my heart that I'd end up saying something like "If you're the last person left alive in the world, you'll talk to yourself a lot in this weird staccato style and live in an art museum." As for Heidegger, forget it. I recall browsing through a bookshop near the University of Chicago with a much more knowledgable friend (same one who recommended Markson, come to think) and asked for a capsule review of a weighty tome called something like "Heidegger's Crisis". "So, R," I asked, "what is or was Heidegger's crisis?"

In a voice loud and a tone anguished enough to alert the entire store to our presence he said: "I'm a Nazi! Argh!"

And that is all I know about Heidegger - although unlike what I understand to be true of most Heideggerian knowledge, it still makes me giggle to think of it, so there's that.