Sunday, December 7, 2008

Foucault is gay

In my first year in University, we usually had class in a huge auditorium in the then newly built Faculty of Humanities in Copenhagen. It was all glass on one side, and when you looked out that infinite window-wall, your eyes were most likely to rest on the facade of a place called "Deniz' Kebab" just across the street.

My friend Anne I have joked so many times since then that all I did during that first year was stare absentmindedly at Deniz' Kebab, while my professors were standing by the huge blackboard in front of me doing peculiar illustrations of anything from Lacan's "petit a" catching a glimpse of himself in the mirror to the hearth of Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water house. I took notes of course, but somehow managed to take them without paying attention to what anyone was saying.

Right now, both Anne and I are working on each our paper, and we were just exchanging some academic thoughts via email, which, as usual, were relatively new to me, and old news to her, precisely because she actually paid attention during our lectures back in the day. And that in turn brought her to remind me once again of Deniz' Kebab. Only this time she informed me that the building has been torn down and all that is left now is some concrete-like looking building on which it says "Foucault is gay" - and that's "gay" as in "homosexual". Not "gay" as in "jolly", in case your wondering about the precise linguistic context.

I find it genuinely interesting that all the humanities students will be sitting in that auditorium staring blankly at that message, hopefully for years and years to come.

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