“I hope the reader of a later age will pardon me for detaining him with persons of whom he has never heard.” —Schopenhauer
If it’s true, as some people say, that one’s name, like character, determines one’s destiny, then perhaps the aptly named Nimrod Reitman was doomed to live a foolish life from the beginning. “In Hebrew and Christian tradition,” Wikipedia informs us, “Nimrod is considered the leader of those who built the Tower of Babel….” Like his namesake who is believed to have led that unfortunate project, Nimrod Reitman is a devotee of exceedingly ambitious nonsense, and like many an ambitious and goal-oriented scholarly cant-peddler, he was groomed by the most distinguished of asses.
For Reitman was the student of Avital Ronell herself. Ronell teaches humanities at NYU and—oh rank of ranks!—is the Jacques Derrida Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School. Reitman was also her friend. Worst of all, perhaps, he may have been her victim. Writing in Washington Square News, NYU’s independent student newspaper, a trio of journalists—Jemima McEvoy, Sayer Devlin, and Kristina Hayhurst; two women and a man of yellow, happily!—report:
Against the State: An …
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Ronell—a leading feminist scholar—was Reitman’s doctoral advisor…. [He] alleges that over the course of three years, starting in the spring of 2012, the professor nonconsensually touched his body and kissed his cheeks and lips on many occasions. On one occasion before he officially began his doctorate program, Reitman alleged that in Ronell’s apartment in Paris, she “…touched his crotch over his clothes, with her buttocks, by…