HomeThe Paulinian Compassvol. 1 no. 3 (2009)

The Nature of Mind Destruction

Layla Abdelrahim

Discipline: Literature



Personal Note:


This paper first appeared in response to professor Livia Monet’s attempt to teach me how to think “in accordance with Canadian university standards”. “You have to unlearn everything they have taught you in Russia,” she wrote to me on my paper on Yuri Mamleev that I submitted as requirement for the obligatory seminar in Comparative Literature, University of Montreal, fall 2002.


Ironically, I have never attended school in Russia and unitentionally she asked me to undo all the things they have taught me in English and Swedish schools, at Bryn Mawr College, at l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Science Sociales in Paris, in Stockholm University, and now at the University of Montreal along with the graduate course I took at the department of education at McGill University.


I gladly accepted the challenge to unlearn that which gets taught in all the above institutions, those pride and light of Americans and Europeans. In spring 2003 I submitted this paper and gave a copy to Terry Cochran, who was in charge of the department at the time. Terry frowned and preached about the benefits of school: “Look, my little girl goes to school and is having the time of her life”. According to him, school was a blast and university rocked: “Trust me, this is the best deal one could get”.


We agreed to disagree.