September 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

First, the fine folks at AUFS put up (with) some thoughts of mine on Derrida and the study of Islam as part of a mini-book event on Michael Naas’s fine Miracle and Machine. Read those notes, following posts by Adam Kotsko and Dan Barber and Anthony’s introduction, here.

Second, I’ve been indulging in some histrionics as I pack up boxes of books for storage before we move into a smaller apartment (we haven’t needed the space we’ve had these two years past, but it’s certainly been nice). I obstinately insisted we bring nearly all the books when we moved out east two years ago, and now, packing many of them up again, feel like there may be a lesson in there, perhaps (but can’t quite tell where). In any case, catching up on some work after being sick, I decided quickly to survey the boxes again. Although I hope to fanangle access to U of T or Ryerson library stacks for the next year (being out of school but employed in a minor capacity by each), it’s not a certain thing. And so the criteria for which books to keep here has been strangely anticipatory, speculating on what might be necessary for things I may want to read or write a year from now. Last weekend I did most of this sifting, but today sorted out a few more to add to the overfull bookshelves to keep here, books that last weekend I decided to go without but today receive anew: a pastel-coloured copy of Imam Ghazali’s Ayyuha’l-walad (with sporadic notes in pencil from Damascus of blessed memory, where a brilliant young teacher in Jami’ Khuzayma read it with me in spring 2005), Novak’s Image of the Non-Jew in Judaism, Boyarin’s Intertextuality and the Reading of Midrash (for reading certain tafasir as midrash), Brown’s Edgework (for her thoughts on critique), Cohn’s Pursuit of the Millenium, Ofrat’s Jewish Derrida, Derrida’s Politics of Friendship, Foucault’s Use of Pleasure, Kamrava’s Innovation in Islam, Massad’s Desiring Arabs, Levinas’s God, Death, and Time (his last two lecture courses at the Sorbonne, a birthday present from Dan: “because your titles are too broad already”), and Abu-Lughod’s Writing Women’s Worlds: Bedouin Stories (bought in a cavernous bookstore in Lethbridge, home this month to prairie grass fires). This handful of titles also kept here with me, a few others weeded out to be sold, and the rest are saved for the future. There’s the Doctor Who “Silence in the Library” pun I was searching for.


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