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Derrida America The Present State of America's Europe.

Derrida America The Present State of America's Europe.

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Published by Bob Wobbly-Headed
Cardozo Law Review.
Volume 27 November 2005 Number 2.
Yeshiva University.
Symposium: Derrida / America: The Present State of America's Europe.

http://www.cardozolawreview.com/volume-27-issue-2.html

Un Cygne Noir
Peter Goodrich 529

Prolegomenon: Radical Patience: Deconstruction's Fall Into History
Anselm Haverkamp 547

Derrida: The Reader
Simon Critchley 553

Davidson as Derridean: Analytic Philosophy as Deconstruction
Samuel Wheeler 567

Europe, or the Inheritance of Responsibility
Rodolphe Gasche 587

Ability and Faith: On the Possibility of Justice
Christoph Menke 595

The Questioning Attitude: Questions About Derrida
Martin Stone 613

Paradoxically, Derrida: For a Comparative Legal Studies
Pierre Legrand 631

Deconstruction's Legal Career
Jack M. Balkin 719

A Brief Survey of Deconstruction
Pierre Schlag 741

Surviving Common Law: Silence and the Violence Internal to the Legal Sign
Peter D. Rush 753

"Where the Law Touches Us, We May Affirm It": Deconstruction as a Poetic Thinking of Law
Adam Gearey 767

Authority: An Hommage to Jacques Derrida and Mary Quaintance
Arthur J. Jacobson 791

J.D.
Peter Goodrich 801

Derrida's Ethical Turn and America: Looking Back from the Crossroads of Global Terrorism and the Enlightenment
Michel Rosenfeld 815

What We Talk About When We Talk About Death
Joseph Brooker 847

Derrida and the Singularity of Literature
Jonathan Culler 869

The Love of the Letter: Derrida and His Only Lady
Barbara Vinken 877

Letter to Derrida/America
Anton Schutz 883

Untranslatable You
Shireen R.K. Patell 897

Picturing Terror: Derrida's Autoimmunity
W.J.T. Mitchell 913

Derrida, Democracy, and America
Juliane Rebentisch 927

The Fictional and the Figural: On Derrida, Kant, and the Textual Event
Karen S. Feldman 933

Vergil and Founding Violence
Michele Lowrie 945

Saying Good-Bye: A Home Video
Avital Ronell 977
Cardozo Law Review.
Volume 27 November 2005 Number 2.
Yeshiva University.
Symposium: Derrida / America: The Present State of America's Europe.

http://www.cardozolawreview.com/volume-27-issue-2.html

Un Cygne Noir
Peter Goodrich 529

Prolegomenon: Radical Patience: Deconstruction's Fall Into History
Anselm Haverkamp 547

Derrida: The Reader
Simon Critchley 553

Davidson as Derridean: Analytic Philosophy as Deconstruction
Samuel Wheeler 567

Europe, or the Inheritance of Responsibility
Rodolphe Gasche 587

Ability and Faith: On the Possibility of Justice
Christoph Menke 595

The Questioning Attitude: Questions About Derrida
Martin Stone 613

Paradoxically, Derrida: For a Comparative Legal Studies
Pierre Legrand 631

Deconstruction's Legal Career
Jack M. Balkin 719

A Brief Survey of Deconstruction
Pierre Schlag 741

Surviving Common Law: Silence and the Violence Internal to the Legal Sign
Peter D. Rush 753

"Where the Law Touches Us, We May Affirm It": Deconstruction as a Poetic Thinking of Law
Adam Gearey 767

Authority: An Hommage to Jacques Derrida and Mary Quaintance
Arthur J. Jacobson 791

J.D.
Peter Goodrich 801

Derrida's Ethical Turn and America: Looking Back from the Crossroads of Global Terrorism and the Enlightenment
Michel Rosenfeld 815

What We Talk About When We Talk About Death
Joseph Brooker 847

Derrida and the Singularity of Literature
Jonathan Culler 869

The Love of the Letter: Derrida and His Only Lady
Barbara Vinken 877

Letter to Derrida/America
Anton Schutz 883

Untranslatable You
Shireen R.K. Patell 897

Picturing Terror: Derrida's Autoimmunity
W.J.T. Mitchell 913

Derrida, Democracy, and America
Juliane Rebentisch 927

The Fictional and the Figural: On Derrida, Kant, and the Textual Event
Karen S. Feldman 933

Vergil and Founding Violence
Michele Lowrie 945

Saying Good-Bye: A Home Video
Avital Ronell 977

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Published by: Bob Wobbly-Headed on Sep 14, 2013
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529
 
INTRODUCTION:UN CYGNE NOIR 
 Peter Goodrich
*
 
I have made a brief study of the law review genre of epitaphs. Or if that is perhaps too coherent a description, as it probably is, for whatare usually miscellaneous brief prefatory statements
in memoriam
for departed colleagues they could equally be called brief encryptions or eulogies of disembarkation. They follow, in a necessarily muted style,the form of classical encomia or funeral orations. They praise thedeparted pedagogue for insight and character, wit and wisdom,generosity and vision. They offer intimate anecdotes, private affectionsshared in and around the law school, but because the deceased was, inthe end, simply a law professor it would be unseemly and improper tolavish too great a degree of laudation upon the pedagogue’s past. Theclassical themes of public virtue, of political adventure or heroic deedshardly conform to the quiet death of a teacher. A law professor is not astatesman, legal academics are fairly marginal to the growth of scholarship, and the Socratic lecture is peripheral on the best of countsto the advancement of educational ideals or practices. Where legalscholars have achieved public recognition they have tended to leave theacademy and having lived their lives elsewhere they garner their encomia in other spaces less idiosyncratic and obscure than the student-edited law review.If the epitaphs printed in law reviews are local and brief, this isdoubtless because it is the home institution that publishes the terse arrayof recollections. The law review is a peculiar publishing forum, astrange artifact of legal education. It is supposedly a scholarly journal
*
My thanks diversely and fulsomely to the participants in the Derrida/America Conferenceheld at Cardozo School of Law, February 20-21, 2005. Especial thanks and amicable recognitionto my co-organizer and the intellectual driving force behind the event, Anselm Haverkamp.Thanks to Brandy Warren for admirable organizational efforts, to Michel Rosenfeld for advice onthe French, and to Simon Critchley for his political intelligence. Thanks for full, frank, and finelyhoned comments from Neil Duxbury, Pierre Legrand, Tom Mitchell, Chris Stone, AdamThurschwell, and Cornelia Vismann. Thanks, if thanks were not so much less than her due, toLinda Mills for extraordinary insight and for the coruscating wit of her diagnoses of motive. Thisvolume makes peace or at least reckoning with two earlier events. The first a conference held in1989 and its progeny
 Deconstruction and the Possibility of Justice
published in 11 C
ARDOZO
L.
 
EV
.
 
919-1726 (1990). The second a symposium held at N.Y.U. in 1995 and published asD
ECONSTRUCTION IS
/
IN
A
MERICA
(Anselm Haverkamp ed., 1995).
 
 
530
CARDOZO LAW REVIEW 
[Vol. 27:2 but it is edited by youthful students. We can note immediately that thelaw review epitaph is already in this sense hard to classify rhetorically.There is first off a certain youthful discomfort, an unease thataccompanies too long a sojourn with the emotions of the elderly staringinto the face of what is inevitably also their own demise. As with itsother products, the law review here invents its own curious norms of genre. The eulogies, and they are almost without exception eulogies,are light, affective, strangely nostalgic and closer to literary portraitsthan to scholarly evaluations. If there is a dominant narrative theme it isthat they strive to capture an existence that exceeded the legal, stories of exceptions, incidents of a life before the law that made the deceasedsomething other than merely and unexceptionally a law professor.The epitaph steps outside the genre of doctrine and law. It is moreinteresting and if attended closely it probably teaches more than theusual run of unread policy statements or second order law reporting thatthe reviews are prone to publishing. If examples can be forgiven, welearn in a short epitaph for Dean Eugene Rostow of Yale Law School— I am starting at the top—that he “was fond of saying that, as dean, theonly things he could decide were the placement of portraits and thegender designation of lavatories—and that, even as to these, it was notall that clear.”
1
Which is an interesting insight into a somewhat gloomyself-perception but not obviously the stuff of law review scholarship. Itmight have been had Rostow been of firmer metal and inverted hisdecenal project to the gender designation of portraits and the placementof lavatories, but he did not and the anecdote remains fond andincidental.Stay with
Yale Law Journal 
if you will and we can turn to thetributes paid on his passing to Myres S. McDougal, “a big, handsomeman.”
2
The only woman to contribute does note that Myres was “white,male, and from a Southern Methodist background—hardly a minorityicon” but she goes on immediately to corroborate the general view of the deceased subject of the memorial inscriptions as being an iconoclast,a virtuoso and lifelong friend who even while “writing path-breakingvolumes of great importance . . . was nonetheless always available to hisstudents.”
3
Or when Kellis Parker, the first tenured African-Americanlaw professor at Columbia University died, suddenly and much tooyoung, it was his humanism, his everyday aesthetics, the trombone inhis office, the music down the corridor, the jazz that got remembered.
4
 
1
Guido Calebresi,
The Generosity of a Dean
, 113 Y
ALE
L.J.
 
5 (2003).
2
Andrew R. Willard,
 Myres Smith McDougal: A Life of and About Human Dignity
, 108Y
ALE
L.J.
 
927,
 
932 (1999).
3
Dame Rosalyn Higgins,
 McDougal as Teacher, Mentor, and Friend 
, 108 Y
ALE
L.J. 957,
 
958 (1999).
4
Kendall Thomas,
 Remarks at Memorial Service for Professor Kellis E. Parker 
, 101C
OLUM
.
 
L.
 
EV
.
 
699 (2001).
 
 
2005]
 INTRODUCTIO
531Life is short, law is long. Life departs, law remains. Mindful of that perhaps, the epitaphic narrative is formulated to capture the life that left,not the law that lives on. It is as if there is no time for analysis of writings or critical evaluations of work as the law professor’s literarycoffin is lowered. Great books, bestsellers or casebooks that went intomultiple editions, genre changing law review articles gain a mention, but in economical terms, because they were numerous, because theysurvived, because of their intimate impact upon the memorialist’s ego,and not, or not here in any sustained or critical sense, because of their argument or content.There is something peculiar about the law review memorial. It briefly upsets the genre of law and it does so in multiple ways.Consider the norms of law review style—the unpublishable dispatchesfrom
The Bluebook 
5
 —as well as the customary norms, the “tacit andilliterate consensus” of the law review office. The “books,” and it issignificant of a certain misrecognition that the issues of the law revieware so termed, are student selected and edited, sometimes fiercely so, but the epitaphs are clearly symposia generated and edited by or for thefaculty. They represent, in the face of death, in a state of exception, amomentary truce in the citation manual wars, an instance of cessation of the violence of editing, a surprising glimpse of an editorial no man’sland.
6
Of the other norms that are broken the most obvious comes in theform of an influx of the personal and nominate, of the first personsingular and its subjective reminiscences, its autobiographical andaffectionate recountings.The stylistic rule of objectivity, of the impersonal, of the fully andtangibly referenced, of the epistemologically justified is suddenlydisplaced by the incursion of memory and experience. The goldstandard of 
The Bluebook 
, the law of solid foundations that requires thatevery proposition have a visibly available prior source, a citation, atangible or at least printable support, a photograph of origin, is waivedin favor chimeric glimpses of a liminal individuality. And to this weshould add that the genre of the epitaph also flouts the substantive ruleof law review content, namely that what is published is about law.Sometimes, some would say all too often, the much prized object of thereview or journal or quarterly, the fetish law, is honored by a merelyconjunctive presence—pieces on “Tina Turner and law,” “Semiramis
5
T
HE
B
LUEBOOK 
:
 
A
 
U
 NIFORM
S
YSTEM OF
C
ITATION
(Columbia Law Review Ass’n et al.eds., 18th ed. 2005). On which, see the indispensable Penelope Pether,
 Discipline and Punish: Despatches from the Citation Manual Wars and Other (Literally) Unspeakable Stories
, 10G
RIFFITH
L.
 
EV
.
 
101 (2001), and her subsequent reprise of those themes in Penelope Pether,
 Negotiating the Structures of Violence
, 15 S
OC
.
 
S
EMIOTICS
5 (2005).
6
I am borrowing here from Cornelia Vismann,
Starting from Scratch: Concepts of Order in No Man’s Land 
,
in
W
AR 
,
 
V
IOLENCE AND THE
M
ODERN
C
ONDITION
46
 
(Bernd Hüppauf ed.,1997).

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