What university press book would put you off a potential lover?

David Glenn poses the above question over at the Chronicle‘s Footnoted blog. The closest I can come to answering is the story below, which I can justify because SUNY Press brought out a translation of Being and Time shortly after the events in question.

When I was an undergrad, I was casually involved for a while with a woman who was, more or less the presiding spirit of the English department, or at least those of us who worked on Honors theses, worked in the writing center, etc.  This was about the time of my first burst of enthusiasm for literary theory.

One evening, we were sitting around talking about what we might like to do in graduate school.  I said that, since I’d been reading a lot of Luce Irigaray, including untranslated bits of The Forgetting of Air in Martin Heidegger, that it might be fun to be really systematic about reading Heidegger.  Grad school seemed like a good opportunity to read Being and Time seriously.

She jumped off the couch, shrieking in protest, and, it must be said, derisive laughter.  Apparently it was almost a tradition in the department for theoretically-orientated male undergrads to, in effect, ditch girls for the siren song of Dasein.   (Yes, I just linked to the Wikipedia entry for a Heideggerian concept.  It’s been one of those weeks.)

And so I remained within the orbit of psychoanalytic theory, now and forever.

So, that’s my story: Being and Time would have, in this case, led to my being unequivocally dumped.

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7 Responses to What university press book would put you off a potential lover?

  1. Heather says:

    What is this, “High Fidelity” for academics?! 😉

    My husband is not an academic — so what attracted me was the stuff in his album collection (yes those vinyl things). He didn’t have any obscure Smiths singles, though.

  2. Frothy McBaldman says:

    Sad testament to the life I have led: I don’t even know where to begin. I’m edging into Scott Baio territory.

  3. Alex says:

    Vinyl, you say? Did not the men and women of yesteryear wear festive garments of such stuff, along with using sharpened tools to etch sound-lines into the stuff? Fascinating.*

    For me, one must be at least somewhat familiar with, or at least be able to say, “Nietzsche.” Correct spelling is a plus.

    *I have insulted alot of people just now. I am really sorry, but in my defense, it was kinda funny. Also, I love records.

  4. Frothy McBaldman says:

    Fun fact: I have been dumped for reading Nietzsche (ostensibly, and among other things…I hope). In her defense, however, “Nietzsche-reading” is one of the finest terms of insult I have ever been subjected to.

  5. Alex, here’s what I got out of your site:

    Artist: World Education Series

    Album title: A Few Select Companions

    Cover art — link doesn’t work, dammit!

  6. Alex says:

    I know about that last link; I have “fixed” it several times, but it won’t work in wordpress. just go to flickr, then explore, then interesting, last 7 days.

    Check my pbwiki (alexjarvis.pbwiki.com) for more stuff to do with it. Its super double fun.

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