ENG 4930


Derrida, Joyce, Lacan

Reading Closely is Reading in Slow-Mots.

Email all work for the course to me at richardburt33@gmail.com

"Rethinking Freud" - Adam Phillips

Warnung! Warning!

"Debate is not a death sentence and feeling offended is not the same as feeling or being exterminated. There is a human right to life, but there is no right not to be offended."
--Beatrix Campbel


Course Description

Course Requirements

Class Schedule

Due the Day Before Each Class:

A. Two Discussion Questions


and / or

C. Three shots with three film analysis terms

Co-Leading Class

First Paper

Second Paper


Paper Guidelines

Periods T2-3 , R 3

UF Class Period Times


Professor Richard Burt

It’s time for you to take a You-Turn

Please email me only to send me class assignments. Otherwise, please talk to me in person after (not before) class or during office hours.

Office: 4314 Turlington Hall

Office Phone 352 392-6650

Office Hours: after class, and by appointment

The current version of this website is the binding one, if you are taking this course.

Field of Vision - Best of Luck with the Wall

Follow me on Twitter

Ludovico Einaudi - "Elegy for the Arctic"

A little about me

STEAM (not STEM) The "A" stands for "Arts," as in Liberal Arts.

If Students Are Smart, They’ll Major in What They Love

Missing UF Faculty (mostly from English)


"Leave Your Laptops at the Door to My Classroom"

Dumbest Generation Ever?

"Stupid Shit: (In)security in the Age of Twilightenment"

Should I take a class with Burt?


Course Policies



Learning a Lot about a little and a Little About a Lot


Slow Motion Reading

Burt is not crazy! VICE CENSORS

Better to Burt Out than Fade Away

"Why Teach What You Already Know?"

--Jean-Michel Rabaté

"I want to pay tribute to his memory here and to recall all that I owe to the trust and encouragement he gave me, even when, as he one day told me, he did not see at all where I was going. That was in 1966 during a colloquium in the United States in which we were both taking part. After a few friendly remarks on the paper I had just given, Jean Hippolyte added, “That said, I really don’t see where you are going.” I think I replied to him more or less as follows: “If I clearly saw ahead of time where I was going, I don’t really believe that I would take another step to get there.” Perhaps I then thought that knowing where one is going may no doubt help in orienting one’s thinking, but that it has never made anyone take a single step, quite the opposite in fact. What is the good of going where one knows oneself to be going and where one knows that one is destined to arrive? Recalling this reply today, I am not sure that I really understand it very well, but it surely did not mean that I never see or never know where I am going and that to this this extent, to the extent that I do not know, it I is not certain that I have ever taken any step or said anything at all."

--Jacques Derrida,

"Punctuations: The Time of a Thesis," in The Eyes of the University, 115

For God's sake, Mr. Storyteller, you ask, where are they going? And I answer: for God's sake, Reader, does any of us know where we're going? Where are you going?

--Denis Diderot, Jacques the Fatalist, 41

With all this, Madam,—and what confounded every thing as much on the other hand, my uncle Toby had that unparalleled modesty of nature I once told you of, and which, by the bye, stood eternal sentry upon his feelings, that you might as soon—But where am I going? these reflections crowd in upon me ten pages at least too soon, and take up that time, which I ought to bestow upon facts.

--Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy


Equal Rights Amendment

Goldberg Variations Complete (J.S. Bach BWV 988), with score, Kimiko Ishizaka piano

Beethoven, Große Fuge (complete, Great Fugue), op. 133, string quartet (animated score)

Bach, Toccata and Fugue in D minor, organ

A classic you have to repeat to understand
around 23:00 time stamp

Austin, John - Philosophical Papers 2ed - Philosophy of Language.pdf

Stanley Cavell, "Must-we-mean-what-we-say?"

Crackling Fireplace with Thunder, Rain and Howling Wind Sounds

Robert Musil's The Man Without Qualities


David Runciman: From Tocqueville to Trump, looking back at 2016

RetroVision Theater Presents A Matter of Life and Death


(Watch films on disc or streaming: UF KANOPY is free)


BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Podcasts

The CIA’s Kafkaesque Guide to Subverting Any Organization with “Purposeful Stupidity” (1944)

The CIA's Timeless Tips for "Simple Sabotage"

How Guantánamo Diary Escaped the Black Hole

Organization Guru Marie Kondo’s Tips for Dealing with Your Massive Piles of Unread Books (or What They Call in Japan “Tsundoku”)

The Birth Control Handbook: The Underground Student Publication That Let Women Take Control of Their Bodies (1968)

Universal Conscription in the U.S.

Nouvelle vidéo démonstration de sécurité Air France / New Air France safety demonstration video

Air France Commercial (2015)

Air France - Making of film France is in the air



Trigger Happy Warning

The Male Gaze Gets an Education

Avital Ronell, "The uninterrogated question of stupidity."
differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies.
8.2 (Summer 1996)


Agnotology: Culturally Constructed Ignorance Wins the Day
By Barry Ritholtz


"The company eagerly cultivates an academic aura, and the facility is
referred to as its “campus.” The campus bookstore sells dozens of
business books, of the kind ubiquitous in airport newsstands. Typical
selections included The World’s Most Powerful Leadership Principle:
How to Become a Servant Leader (featuring a jacket blurb from the
Senior Vice President of Operations for Chik-fil-a) and Leading with
Soul: An Uncommon Journey of Spirit. Alas, they did not have my
favorite managerial tome of all time, If Harry Potter Ran General
Electric: Leadership Wisdom from the World Of Wizards, which is a
genuine, honest-to-God book that you can look up and purchase."


We must instead put ourselves to the test: whether now and in the future we will read the texts and words of the genuine philosophers in a different way than we have previously; placing higher demands on ourselves, with an enduring will to question, and with a presentiment that there is something knowable before and beyond all science; we have to put to the test whether we have learnt to read. If we can affirm that we want to read in a different way and more meditatively, then we have done enough for the moment.
Heidegger, Martin
Interpretation of Nietzsche's Second Untimely Meditation
Haase, Ullrich
Sinclair, Mark

Unzeitgemäss ist auch diese Betrachtung, weil ich etwas, worauf die Zeit mit Recht stolz ist, ihre historische Bildung, hier einmal als Schaden, Gebreste und Mangel der Zeit zu verstehen versuche, weil ich sogar glaube, dass wir Alle an einem verzehrenden historischen Fieber leiden und mindestens erkennen sollten, dass wir daran leiden. Wenn aber Goethe mit gutem Rechte gesagt hat, dass wir mit unseren Tugenden zugleich auch unsere Fehler anbauen, und wenn, wie Jedermann weiss, eine hypertrophische Tugend - wie sie mir der historische Sinn unserer Zeit zu sein scheint - so gut zum Verderben eines Volkes werden kann wie ein hypertrophisches Laster: so mag man mich nur einmal gewähren lassen. Auch soll zu meiner Entlastung nicht verschwiegen werden, dass ich die Erfahrungen, die mir jene quälenden Empfindungen erregten, meistens aus mir selbst und nur zur Vergleichung aus Anderen entnommen habe, und dass ich nur sofern ich Zögling älterer Zeiten, zumal der griechischen bin, über mich als ein Kind dieser jetzigen Zeit zu so unzeitgemässen Erfahrungen komme. So viel muss ich mir aber selbst von Berufs wegen als classischer Philologe zugestehen dürfen: denn ich wüsste nicht, was die classische Philologie in unserer Zeit für einen Sinn hätte, wenn nicht den, in ihr unzeitgemäss - das heisst gegen die Zeit und dadurch auf die Zeit und hoffentlich zu Gunsten einer kommenden Zeit - zu wirken.


Mary Russo, The Female Grotesque: Risk, Excess and Modernity (1994)​


Sigmund Freud,"The Taboo on Virginity"

Laura Kipnis, "Stupid Sex/Higher Education"

Tomorrow's Professor https://tomprof.stanford.edu/posting/1502

Lip synching and music videos

Lorde https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nlcIKh6sBtc

Bryan Ferry

"Slave to Love"

George Michaels


Tei Shi - "Bassically" (Official Music Video)

Structure, Scaffolding, and the Leap of Faith Indiana Jones

Charles Glass, "Nagmachons,"
Times Literary Supplement | 5th April 2016

Michel Foucault's reply to George Steiner's review of Foucualt's The Order of Things (George Steiner, “The Mandarin of the Hour—Michel Foucault,” New York Times Book Review February 21, 1971), “Monstrosities in Criticism” Diacritics 1, no.1 (1971) 57-60

George Steiner, “Steiner Responds to Foucault,” Diacritics 1, no. 2 (Winter, 1971), p. 59.

Foucault responds to Steiner.



from Thomas Mann, Doktor Faustus, p. 63

Annotated Critical Editions

Why an annotated annotated edition versus a critical edition?

Why not just read a "raw" version of a text, like on Gutenberg? Or on a kindle? Why is is a critical ppparatus, and what is it for? Why do DVDs have extras on them? What is a Criterion edition of a film?

Why not just wacth a film? What does it mean to watch or read critically?

1. Detective as critic (Ginzburg on Clues)

Annotated Poe

2. Reader as walker or forager or flaneur

Annotated Emerson

3. Text as Monster Annotated Frankenstein


Text as lacking; in need of repair; as wounded, in need of surgery.

A restored edition (like Clarissa third edition title page).

Film restoration

museum audioguides for paintings

Last Words

Last Wills and Testaments


Graphic Design

Page layout


Pausing to leave a text in order to find out more about what is being discussed and described; going a source like wikipedia to find out a little bit about or going to youtube to listen to a piece of music; returning to the text where you left. The text returns to you; you may reread it; you may finally read it after all; you may learn even more. Thedor Adorno; Adorno and Mann correspondence; Mann, Genesis of Doktor Faustus: The Novel of a Novel; Schoenberg; you read books and articles; you listen to more performances of Beethoven, more recordings; your learn about pianists who perform the piece--Maurizio Pollini); you learn about the piano sonata; about the sonata and classical music; classical versus romantic music; late Beethoven--quarterts; deafness, and so on.)

You Already Know how to Read Film (Genre--you know what to expect) Example: Hostel (2005)

Performing Race:

Black Like You: Blackface, Whiteface, Insult & Imitation in American Popular Culture 

Jacques Derrida, "Plato's Pharmacy"

Writers Reading Writers

"Neoliberal Arts" Harper's Magazine 2015

Dickens, Charles. 1852. "A Ragged School," Harper's Magazine

"Historical, in fact philological, consider- ations have slowly but surely taken the place of profound explorations of eternal problems. The question becomes: What did this or that phi- losopher think or not think? And is this or that text rightly ascribed to him or not? And even: Is this variant of a classical text preferable to that other? Students in university seminars today are encouraged to occupy themselves with such emasculated inquiries. As a result, of course, philosophy itself is banished from the university altogether."

Nietzsche, Fredrich. 1872 anti-education Harper's Magazine

Friedrich Nietzsche,1872. ANTI-EDUCATION introduction and annotation by Paul Reitter and Chad Wellmon, translated from the German by Damion Searls

Heidegger, Martin, 1933. "The Self-Assertion of the German University and The Rectorate 1933/34: Facts and Thoughts," Review of Metaphysics 38 (March 1985): 467-502.

Auerbach, Eric. 1943. Epilogue to Mimesis: The Represenation of Reality in Western Literature

Curtius, E. R. 1947. Die auslandiche wissenschaftliche Literatur der Kriegs- und Nachkriegsjahre ist mir bis auf verschwindende Ausnahmen nicht zuganglich gewesen. Auch die Bonner Universitatebibliothek ist seit 1944 in folge eines Bombenangriffs teils unbenuntzbar, teils verbrannt. Ich habe daher manches Zitat nicht meher vergleichen, manche Quelle nicht mehr einsehen konnen. Aber wenn die literature 'das fragment der Fragmente" ist (Goethe), muss ein Versuch wie der vorleigende erst recht den Charackter des Fragmentarishcen tragen.

During the war and postwar years, I lost sight of foreign literary criticism after it vanished and was thus inaccessible to me. Also, as a consequence of an air raid in 1944, parts of the Bonn University Library were unusable or burnt. I could no longer check various citations or consult many sources. But if literature is "the fragment of fragments" (Goethe), an attempt like this one in particular must exhibit a fragmentary character.] — "Vorwort," in Europaisches Literatur und Lateinische Mittelater, (my translation; not translated in the English edition of 195

Curtius, E. R. 1953. I have tried to show that humanistic tradition is from time to time attacked by philosophy. It may suffer a serious setback from these aggressions. Many signs seem to point to the fact that we are faced once more with an incursion of philosophers, existentialists... "Appendix: The Medieval Bases of Western Thought," European Literature in the Latin Middle Ages, 592

De Man, Paul. 1983. As a control discipline . . . philology represents a store of established knowledge; to seek to supersede it . . . is without merit. "Heidegger's Exegeses of Hölderlin," Blindness and Insight, 263-4.

Readings, BiIl. 1997. The University in Ruins. Harvard University Press.

Derrida, Jacques. 2001. "The University Without Condition," originally delivered as a Presidential Lecture at Stanford University in 1998. Its title was "The Future of the Profession or the University Without Condition (Thanks to the 'Humanities,' What Could Take Place Tomorrow)." This version can be found in Jacques Derrida and the Humanities: A Critical Reader, ed. Tom Cohen (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2001), 24-57. A slightly altered version, recast as an essay, appeared as "The University Without Condition" in Jacques Derrida, Without Alibi, trans. Peggy Kamuf (Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 2002), 202-37. The French original is L'université sans condition (Paris: Galilée, 2001).

Derrida, Jacques. 2002. Who's Afraid of Philosophy: Right to Philosophy 1 trans. Jan Plug. Stanford Univ. Press,

Derrida,Jacques. 2004. Eyes of the University: Right to Philosophy 2 trans. Jan Plug. Stanford Univ. Press,

When do you have to go outside the text in order to understand it? Philology (history through etymology)

Philology as entry into history and culture: Life / Sex Life / End of Life = life, sex, and death=civilization

When do you have to go outside the text in order to understand it? Philology (history through etymology)

Genetic Fallacy?

When and under what conditions does knowing something about a writer's biography or the time he or she was writing make a difference to your reading of what he or she wrote?

Jacques Derrida, "Signature Event Context"

One fact that has to be assimilated by both Labour and the Democrats is this: when Bill and Hillary arrived in Washington in 1992 they had little money. Now, despite remaining notionally in public service throughout, they are worth many millions of dollars. Tony and Cherie Blair were not obscenely wealthy when they arrived in power in 1997. Today they are worth more than $75 million. Consider the working-class voters whom the Clintons or the Blairs exhorted to vote for them in the 1990s: they are probably worse off now than they were then. In effect the Clintons and Blairs surfed on their grievances and inequities, making themselves rich and leaving their voters in the dust. This hasn’t gone unnoticed, which is one reason the old politics is no longer working.




Reading is a vice which can replace all other vices or temporarily take their place in more intensely helping people live, it is an aberration a consuming passion. No, I don’t take any drugs, I take books, of course I have certain preferences, many books don’t suit me at all, some I take only in the morning, others at night, there are books I don’t ever let go, I drag them around with me in the apartment, carrying them from the living room into the kitchen, I read them in the hall standing up, I don’t use a bookmark, I don’t move my lips while reading, early on I learned to read very well, I don’t remember the method, but you ought to look into it. They must have used an excellent method in our provincial elementary schools, at least back when I learned to read.
--Ingeborg Bachmann, Malina: A Novel, trans. Philip Boehm (Teaneck, NJ: Holmes & Meier, 1990), 57-58.

Geoff Dyer, "Reader's Block"

Jacques Derrida, "Eating Well"

Jacques Derrida Interview on writing as food or drugs

STEAM (not STEM) "A" stands for "Arts," as in Liberal Arts


Farhenheit 451 paratext

Juan Luis Borges, "Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quixote"

Carlo Ginzburg, Clues

Writing as a Drug

Samsung Instinct film trailer

Martin Scorcese on pan and scan versus letterboxing

Warner Brothers high def website; Toshiba's "dead" website The Look and Sound of Perfect HD-DVD website (YouTube trailer)

Mirrors trailer

Freudian Slips in German

Carlo Ginzburg, Clues

Walter Benjamin, "The Work of Art in the Age of its Reproducibility"

Jacques Derrida in Ghost Dance

Avital Ronell on the examined life

Sigmund Freud, "The Uncanny"

Sigmund Freud, "Dreams and Telepathy"

Sigmund Freud, "Psycho-analysis and Telepathy"

Sigmund Freud, "Mourning and Melancholia"

Sigmund Freud, Beyond the Pleasure Principle standard edition

Jacques Derrida on invention and illegality

Jacques Derrida in Ghost Dance

Avital Ronell on the examined life

Sigmund Freud, "The Uncanny"

Friedrich Schlegel, "On Incomprehensibility"


Interpretation as Circle

Quotations I Like


The Idiocy of Identity Politics

My Blog

Sheldon Pollock, "Future Philology? The Fate of a Soft Science in a Hard World"

"How DNA Changed the World of Forensics" NY Times, May 18, 2014

Carlo Ginzburg, “Clues: Morelli, Freud, and Sherlock Holmes,” in History Workshop, No. 9 (Spring, 1980), pp. 5-36.

Paolo Cherchi Usai, David Alexander Horwath, Michael Loebenstein, ed. Film Curatorship: Museums, Curatorship and the Moving Image (chapter three, pp.107-29)

"How DNA Changed the World of Forensics" NY Times, May 18, 2014

Optional Reading: D.A. Greetham, "Textual Forensics"; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, "A Case of Identity" (1899) and "The Adventure of the Cardboard Box" (1893); Sigmund Freud, "The Moses of Michelangelo" (1914) Standard Edition, 13: 209-238. Digital "Exploded Manuscript" of Freud's essay.




My Augusitinian / Rousseauian Autobiograhical / Confessional Moment: How I Found Myself Destined to Become an English Professor When I Was Ten Years Old: My copy, acquired June 20, 1964 at my paternal grandparents' home, of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Snow Image and Other Tales, ed. Richard Burton, Professor of English in the University of Minnesota, New York: T. Y. Cowell & Company, 1899.

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player