For a long time I worked on an essay about a fairly obscure American film made in the seventies by an actress, the only film she directed, which she starred in herself, an essay that I published in a small journal and thought perhaps I would turn into a book. For a couple of years it was all I worked on, slowly, as slow as the film itself. After the essay came out in the journal, I discovered a book in French that was about this same film and actress-director. It was written at approximately the same time as I had written my essay. This book won a significant literary prize in France and loving, critical attention for its English translation. I’m not saying it was the exact same text—her small, lyric monograph and my novella-length essay. For one, her book was more conceptually focused, while my essay drifted too much and was too much about me. Still, the similarities were uncanny. Had I unintentionally plagiarized her, or had she unintentionally plagiarized me? The whole situation reminded me of that anecdote of Salvador Dalí throwing a fit when in the audience for the screening of Joseph Cornell’s 1936 film Rose Hobart, which intercut the actress Rose Hobart’s scenes in East of Borneo with shots from a documentary about an eclipse, projected through blue glass and scored by a record of Nestor Amaral’s Holiday in Brazil that Cornell found in a junk shop. Knocking over the projector, Dalí accused Cornell of stealing the idea from his dreams. In a way, what the French writer and I were both doing was like Cornell’s film—a homage to our actress, slowed down to the speed of a silent film. Still I see the book in bookstores, the cover with an illustrated still of the actress-director’s face, and I feel that it is . . . not quite mocking me, you understand, but reminding me of something.