dear stuart,
I begin with an apology in advance for what follows, an apology for in-
sisting on continuing our conversations in this epistolary form. I know it’s
an imposition, possibly an impolite one, certainly unsolicited; but with
these letters I hope at least to be able to clarify—this is a word I’ll use
a lot throughout— something of what I’ve found so compelling in your
way of being the intellectual you’ve been, or, I guess, the intellectual you
were. (I have to admit straight off that I’m a little confused about the
grammatical tense in which to address you, so I hope you’ll allow me a
certain ambiguity; it arises, I suppose, from my persisting inability to re-
lease you into a final past.) As you know, for me it’s not been your views
in themselves as much as your way of having views— how you’ve gone
about having views, and again having other and further views— that has
intrigued me. And in what follows this is what I want to talk with you
about, to continue worrying you about— a little.
I saw you last in early December 2013 when I was passing through
London on my way back to New York from Cape Town where I’d deliv-
ered three lectures under the general title “Stuart Hall’s Voice” at the
University of the Western Cape.1 That was a very stimulating occasion,
On Intellectual Friendship
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