|Georgetown University, Washington D.C., Thursday, May 8th 1997|
Professor R. Bensky
How may I express my deep pleasure upon reading the masterful and
perceptive review granted my book in this new issue of AS/SA?
Colleagues here at Georgetown are also most pleased and will, no doubt,
pay very careful attention to your journal in the future.
I was especially gratified by the fact that the central paradigm of my
study, ie. Dionysian ontogenesis as production of Mask in "the
trans-historic now" received a full explicitation and that it was further
deemed to offer an epistemological reconciliation between the
paradigmatic propositions of Ubersfeld and Sarrazac. This is most
felicitous, since, clearly, I had no prior knowledge of the "debate" which
would prove central to the problematics of your issue.
However, beyond the "re-reading" of Dionysus, I was most impressed
by the reviewer's dexterity in seizing the sometimes oblique structural
coherence of my research, as one moves from one plot to the next in
this aptly-termed "garden of vignettes." (The only area of ground whose
specificity was perhaps investigated a little rapidly being that of Laou,
inasmuch as the question of race - the theme of "negre-blanc" -
is paramount and that my chapter on this particular writer validates
acutely the Sarrazac side of the hermeneutic equation, namely, his
central concern with the Other. Having said that, I also realize that bringing the
racial issue into focus might have unbalanced the general economy of the
review and forced the reviewer into thorny dialectical considerations
leading away from mythography).
Concerning the one caveat expressed most courteously by the reviewer,
ie. the matter of lexicon, all I can say in response is that I've undoubtedly
been dwelling excessively on the writings of the likes of Sibony, Ouaknin
and Maldiney, in whom one finds great freedom in what Ouaknin, basing
his audacities on Talmudic word-play, calls "hidouch" or "innovation
sémantique." Cela dit, the warning to the reader is appropriate and I am
aware of the risks involved in stepping too far away from "les mots de la
Once again, thank you for this "traitement en profondeur" of my work
and allow me to conclude with the sincere hope that our paths will cross
again in the near future.
Bien cordialement à vous,