I had the unfortunate vantage point of meeting Kittler in the early
1990's, when perhaps his persuasiveness was fading. As for his person,
I was stunned by his open misogyny and a talk he gave in which women
were zeros and men were ones (the second being a far more attractive
proposition). I followed him outside, where he dragging on a cigarette
to ask him if he meant this to be taken seriously. He brushed me off.
As I took a closer view of him in the sunlight, I realized that he was
covered with cigarette ashes. I, in contrast, had white cat hairs all
over my black suit.
Your remark about his early death is the thing that moves me about
your reminiscences. It suggests how affectionately you remember him.
In another way, though, his smoking was such a part of him he seemed
to be courting death; furthermore, given that he appeared to be
suffering a mental decline, death could have been kind.
I wondered whether I should share this memory but I decided it was OK.
I seldom describe what it meant to be a woman when confronted with the
actual Foucault, for instance, but it is part of the story. It colors
the work for me; I can' t think it away, but it doesn't negate what it