The pleasures which superstar professors have access too

This fragment from  Xavier de la Porte’s The Imposter: BHL in Wonderland stuck with me because it dramatised an issue which I’ve often found myself reflecting on. How is financial, social and cultural capital transformed into the pleasures of intellectual production? This account of Bernard-Henri Lévy resonated because of how easily I could imagine myself enjoying this setup and how inconceivable it is for me to imagine that I ever might. From loc 1532:

Another secret is the swimming pool. Bernard-Henri Lévy loves swimming pools, they inspire him. He explained to one of our well-informed ‘honourable correspondents’ that he had installed a voice recorder at the end of the pool in each of his houses. When he is swimming his daily lengths, sentences come to him. All he has to do is come out of the water, press the record button and capture the lucky find. He can then dive back in and splash up and down, awaiting new lightning-flashes: ‘Some of my finest sentences have come to me like that.’

Perhaps this hints at how how Zizek write as productively as he does, with a book about Covid-19 coming in April (!), in spite of the reproduction which is endemic within his work:

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