Il n’y a pas de hors d’oeuvre

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“23 November 2004 A digression (‘I need not apologize for the digression — it has been my plan throughout this work’). Plutarch could never forgive Herodotus, the father of history, for suggesting that the Egyptians could be better hosts than the Greeks. ‘The host must hurry [l’hote doit se hater],’ Derrida says on 17 January 1996 in his lectures on hospitality … Hospitality is always a matter of urgency, always a question of speeds. The unexpected guests arrive and there is always a rush of activity: a hurried welcoming at the door, a quick cleaning up, a surreptitious rearranging or putting back into order, a preparing of food and drink. But even when the guest is expected, has been expected for a long time, there is a sense of urgency. The guests arrive — always too early or too late, even if they are ‘on time.’ Coats are taken; tours are given of the immaculate, impossibly ordered home; drinks are served, food presented. For there to be a place for hospitality, for hospitality to take (the) place, the host must hurry.”

— Sean Gaston, The Impossible Mourning of Jacques Derrida (2006)