Over at the Valve John Holbo has an epiphany upon reading the Author’s Note from Stephen Potter’s classic Lifemanship (a kind of joke English Bourdieu avant la lettre, or vice versa, but that is for another day). Here’s the author’s note:

I have reprinted these lectures more or less as they were delivered. I have not thought it worth while making the small alterations deemed necessary. Any inaccuracies or repetitions must be put down to the exigencies of the platform – to the essential difference between the Written Word, which is inscribed, and the Spoken Word, which is, essentially, speech.

John says: “I was rereading Derrida on “Plato’s Pharmakon”. And then beneath my eye happened to fall the Author’s Note … Imagine the crackle in my brain as I realize: that’s all of Derrida, right there. "

Imagine further, then, the corresponding crackle in my brain. My immediate reaction upon reading John’s post was that Potter is eerily foreshadowing a different Author’s Note provided by an author with a cult following in some ways not unlike Potter’s—or Derrida’s—own.

In January of 1970, I gave three talks at Princeton University transcribed here. As the style of the transcript makes clear, I gave the talks without a written text, and, in fact, without notes. The present text is lightly edited from the verbatim transcripts; an occasional passage has been added to expand the thought, but no attempt has been made to change the informal style of the original … I hope the reader will bear these facts in mind as he reads the text. Imagining it spoken, with proper pauses and emphases, may occasionally facilitate comprehension.

So, the content of Derrida, the style of Kripke, and both encapsulated in one note.