Some psycho girlfriend of mine (decades ago!) answered a long rhapsodic letter I’d written her with this terse, humiliating rebuff: “Next time, write to me.” That one command, on a tiny slip of paper, tucked into an envelope. I remember thinking, “Wasn’t I writing to her? How could I know, writing to her, that I secretly wasn’t writing to her?” At that point, Derrida hadn’t yet written The Post Card, so I didn’t know what to do with my befuddled, wounded sense of being a rhapsodic narcissist of a letter-writer weirdly instructed to “relate,” to speak to someone instead of to the nothingness at the end of writing.

Wayne Koestenbaum, in Maggie Nelson, The Argonauts