The future is not a future present, yesterday is not a past present. That which is beyond the closure of the book is neither to be awaited nor refound. It is there, but out there—beyond—within repetition but eluding us there. It is there like the shadow of the book, the third between two hands holding the book, the différance in the now of writing, the movement between the book and the book, this other hand....
It might have been possible to think of différance as temporality itself, had this term not so thoroughly been usurped by the “metaphysics of presence” and the sense of Being as an eternal Now, which therein contains the sense of both past and future. It might also have been possible to think of différance as the spatiality of space, if this formulation did not immediately bring to mind the problematics of a transcendental aesthetic and the immediacy of intuitions for the possibility of the constitution of experience as such. As the “shadow” of the book, différance still falls victim to the “metaphysics of presence” in terms of the notion of absence, of the shadow of the light, and of the heliotropic orientation of metaphysics as such therefore. The “third,” albeit between the two hands holding the book, can easily slide into the “third” of Hegel’s dialectic and indeed of the triadic formulation that guides the teleology and eschatology of metaphysics in general once again. But what is “the movement between the book and the book”? “This other hand”? It is perhaps the difference between the repeated and the repetition, or between the origin and copy, or the time of the repetition, or perhaps its space. It is perhaps the “and” that both unites and divides the apparently identical. It is perhaps also the appearance, the appearing of the identical itself as different—as separated from itself by the conjunction “and.” It is perhaps, further, the addition of the self-same to itself, therein making it fuller than itself with its own fullness; quite simply therein betraying its own excess. But why “this other hand”? To whom or to what does it belong? Can it belong? and why a hand? Why other? We could speculate upon the handiwork of the other in the following respect, if we consider the Heideggerian treatment of handicraft. The letting-emerge of the emergent. The surrendering of the craftsman to his craft—to the texture of the wood, to its feel, its moisture and its dryness, its grain. In short its particularity of the moment. It is the hand of the “chemin,” as distinct from the method or technique. It is the way of the non-repeatable and non-representable. But how can we here attempt to trace, track, or follow such a path which “leads nowhere,” which “effaces itself,” and which is designed (by design and non-design) to set us off its path? It is perhaps the letting-learn of the good teacher that we must address ourselves to and not look for a master-plan, or a key-concept, or a blazed trail in order to approach what Derrida calls: l’a différance. His own approach cannot be repeated. It is non-repeatable in its essence. In short, it has no “essence,” no form as such, but is the way of an intervention that erupts in particular texts concerning particular issues. The difficulties of inscribing, describing, representing, speaking of, or writing about such a non-method should “make their presence felt” prior to the transcendental reduction we will attempt to perform in order to make present, albeit by an act of violence (that of language and writing itself), that which Derrida claims and insists cannot be made present. This is not, however, an Aufhebung of Derrida. Quite the contrary. We hope to leave Derrida’s claims as such, as origin and excess of our exposé still very much alive and in transition.
In order therefore to “speak” of the “unspeakable,” to represent the non-representable, and hence to “name” the “unnameable,” we propose to treat différance as it relates analogically to force, the idiom, and thought as they relate to language, for Derrida. The leap in logic from is to as, or from a structure of identity (the name) to the structure of analogy (the metaphor) will also be exposed, as we move from a description of the limits of language to that of writing. Derrida’s own work shifts from a focus on language as such to writing and then to inscription in general as habitation, and it is this movement we will attempt to trace here. Finally, we will approach our subject as such and attempt to describe its structure, which we perceive as subsisting over time in a determinate form. The notion of structure itself must be conceived, however, as being “under erasure,” in the sense that it will have long since been overcome in terms of the limits of language; yet its formality will be seen to resurge within, albeit in spite of, différance. This paradox too will be addressed, wherein we may find ourselves returning to the problematics of force and form, or more precisely of force and language, wherein we shall begin. The difference between a circle and an ellipse is surely, as Derrida also must recognize, not that one returns to its origin and the other does not, but rather that one has one center and the other—the realm of différance to be sure—has two. It is precisely this elongation of the circle2 and the doubling of its focus that we will be tracing here in so far as it is possible, and in particular, for us. A final word of caution before we embark might be that one should always recall the tradition of metaphysics in order to understand Derrida but then also always perform a transcendental reduction on it, put it under erasure, cross it out leaving it still (only just) legible. The recall will therein leave sufficient residue for us to at least point toward that which allows for the residue to settle and hence that which of itself never leaves a residue and hence has no remainder.
(a) The Language of Force
If structuralism is the language of form, then the language of force is a contradiction in terms for Derrida. Force and language in this context relate to each other as mutually exclusive and opposing terms. Hegel discussed this issue in terms of the tautological basis of the force of the concept in Kant, in particular with reference to the function and structure of the Understanding. He recognized, Derrida claims, that: “the explanation of a phenomenon by a force is a tautology” because “to speak of force as the origin of the phenomenon is without doubt to say nothing. When it is said, the force is already phenomenon.”3
This relationship of the becoming-phenomenon of force is precisely that which illustrates the limits of language for Derrida, as for Hegel. The process of the making-present of the entity is thus, at the same instant, the making-absent of force. It is force itself that allows for the possibility of this making, but it is also that which can never itself (a) be made, or (b) be made present, or (c) be said in the saying. Force is indeed the “origin of phenomena” for Derrida, but to “speak of this” is to lose the “forcefulness” of force. The process itself is lost in the formalization by “speech.” We should expand the notion of “speech” here to include language in general for Derrida and not reify or particularize his claims with regard to a “speech” as distinct from writing, or as distinct from “silence.” As he says, further, with respect to Hegel: “But in saying this one must envisage a certain powerlessness of language, not of thought or force, to step outside itself to speak of its origin. Force is the other of language without which this here would not be what it is [my emphasis].”4
This “certain powerlessness of language” is that same limit that Derrida claims for all structures. That which forms its conditions of possibility, that which is the opening which necessarily exceeds it are by definition not capable of being understood from within that same structure or system. They form instead what one might term its “blind spot”—its shadow, its other side. There is thus a perspectival nature within the nature of structure introduced here such that it is intrinsically not all-inclusive, nor all-embracing. Structure as such, and thus language as structure, is prohibited therein from a certain omniscience. This prohibition is precisely the condition of its possibility, Derrida claims. In addition, the condition of the possibility of structure is itself a structure:
If there are structures, they are possible as a result of this fundamental structure by which the totality opens itself and overflows to create meaning in the anticipation of a telos which we must consider here in its most indeterminate form. This opening is certainly that which liberates time and genesis (even coincides with them) but also that which risks enclosing the movement toward the future—becoming by giving it form. That which risks stifling force under form [my emphasis].5
There seems to be thus a certain “circularity” here in the proposition of a structure that founds the possibility of structures in general. The origin of the origin is the origin, in a certain sense and a certain non-sense. It is this tautology of which Hegel speaks and which he shows to be a function of the play of Force itself in its relation to the Concept—the Begriffe—the Notion. It is the play of play with its expression which, of course, is also one of the moments of its play. How can this be better (more clearly) expressed? We shall proceed slowly and necessarily unsteadily at this point.
Derrida speaks of “the blind origin of the work” with respect to the issue of the “operation of the imagination,” and perhaps this will assist us in gaining some clarity for our problem here. As he says:
In order to seize more precisely the operation of the imagination it is necessary therefore for us to turn towards the invisible interior of poetic freedom. We must divide ourselves in order to reunite in this night the blind origin of the work.6
There is thus a certain force of the imagination—its operation, its movement—which is not available to the realm of what philosophy terms “the visible,” the “seeable” according to the light of Reason—the light of day. It is thus toward the night, darkness, shadow of non-reason that we must turn here. The need to separate ourselves from ourselves and to rejoin or reunite these two halves in this night is the path—dimly lit as it is—that we must follow here. The “blindness” of the origin is thus our “blindness” to “see” it. Indeed, it is not available to the “sensory” apparatus of sight at all. The meaning (sense) of this force is not to be a function of the light of Reason but of the non-light of non-Reason. It will be a “turning towards the interiority of poetic freedom.” We should recall that philosophy had its origins in the making of prose from poetry—the prosaic comprehension of the world—of the poem. It has never claimed to be able to comprehend the making poetry of poetry, nor the interiority of this “liberty.” This is perhaps instead Derrida’s aim, although not his “vouloir-dire, in this context. It is more precisely a Gelassenheit of that which cannot of itself Gelassen; a letting-speak of that which cannot be said and perhaps a pointing toward that which can never be reached.
But more precisely what is the relation of force to language in terms of this attempt to “seize the operation of the imagination”? Derrida says it is a question “of an exit out of the world towards a place which is neither a place nor another world, neither a utopia nor an alibi. Creation of a universe which is added to the universe ... and which says nothing other than the excess of the whole, this essential nothing from which everything appears and produces itself in language ... and this is the possibility itself of writing and of literary inspiration in general [my emphasis].”7
“The creation of a universe that adds itself to the universe” is precisely the movement from the circle of philosophy to the ellipse of différance. But surely Derrida does not aim to create another universe, to “play God” by repeating identically what the “Original Prime Mover” has done. This is not, however, what is at issue here at all, despite appearances. One should note that it is a “second universe” that speaks of nothing but the excess from the first, from that which allows of no excess. In addition, the “second universe” is the one that speaks of this “essential nothing.” The doubling here has become a doubling of itself, it seems, in the following respect. Surely the first universe is the world of form, of language, of “totality,” and hence of the world as such. Indeed, of the as such of the world. However, the second universe also speaks—hence it is also a realm of language, form, etc. And therefore if force is that which exceeds language, it is still in absentia in this second universe. Is there not then a “third universe” which would be the non-said of the said (of the totality) and, yet again, a fourth which would mirror the second for the first, be analogous (if one prefers) and therein be the un-said of the un-said—the excess over and above (beyond) the said excess? And we might continue this process ad infinitum, since the excess by necessity intrinsically exceeds—even itself. The opening Derrida presents us with here in the “creation of a universe which adds itself to the first” is also reminiscent of the “inverted world” of which Hegel speaks in his criticism of Kant. In the “inverted world,” all that is in the non-inverted (first universe?) is reversed. What is good in the first is evil in the second; what was a distinction in the first is transformed into an identity in the second; and vice versa; and so with the sweet and the sour, the north and south poles, and for all distinctions of opposition; that is, reversibility. The difference between Derrida and Hegel on this point, however, is crucial. Derrida’s “second universe” is not Hegel’s “inverted world,” because (a) the “second universe” is not in a relation of opposition or inversion to the first; (b) the “second universe” and the first are never totalizable as one identical, self-same universe; and (c) the “second universe” is radically dissimilar to the first in that it speaks of the nothing which both exceeds and opens the possibility of the existence of the first. Thus the second universe is a radically first universe, but one that is unproclaimed as such. Quite simply, it is, Derrida will claim, the origin of the origin, plain and simple. This nonorigin of origin will be examined in greater detail in terms of the scope of writing, but here we wish only to announce its non-presence in the space between Derrida and Hegel, which it is essential to maintain.
The force of force, for Derrida, is thus that it cannot be said. It is that which allows for the linguistic, but which intrinsically escapes the formality of the latter. There is therefore a certain “weakness” within the force of force, a certain powerlessness which is also a power. Force in general thus divides itself, for Derrida, at the instant of its description. It becomes either: (a) force as powerful or (b) force as powerless. This division and suppression of one side by the other is precisely that which makes force both (a) imperceptible and yet later (b) perceptible. It is perceptible as that which has been forgotten. We can see this most clearly in terms of Husserl’s phenomenology, as he tries to explain in structural terms that which breaks free and in turn founds the structurality of structure. These moments are what Derrida calls “phenomena of crises” and “failures to reach goals.”
And when, in places, Husserl ceases to consider the phenomena of crises and failures to reach goals as accidents of genesis, as inessential, it is to show that “forgetting” is eidetically prescribed and necessary, within the notion of ‘sedimentation’, to the development of truth. To its unveiling, to its illumination [my emphasis].8
It is the forgetting of force therefore that allows for the constitution of the present as such, of the as such of the present, and therefore of the possibility of the immediately present to consciousness as such of what is called evidence or truth. It is the “principle of principles” of phenomenology that is at issue here and which Derrida insists is founded on a more primary, more ultimate, more original, but unspeakable foundation. It is “force” that is forgotten; it is “force” that cannot be captured fully in the moment of the “living present,” the Now of evidence and of experience—transcendental or otherwise—in Husserl’s phenomenology. Derrida continues:
Now one would search in vain to find in phenomenology a concept which would permit one to think intensity or force. To think the power and not only the direction, the tension and not only the in of intentionality. Nothing is gained or lost except in terms of clarity and non-clarity, of evidence, of presence and absence for a consciousness, of capture or loss of consciousness.
From whence come the difficulties to think genesis and pure temporality of the transcendental ego, to take account of the achieved or missed incarnation of the telos and of these mysterious weaknesses one calls crises.9
The issue here is obviously not the weakness(es) of Husserl or his phenomenology but rather of that which these limits are a sign for. For Derrida, this “break in the form” of form is not an accident but an essential structure—or rather an essential non-structure, or more precisely (and beyond metaphysics) an “inessential non-structure.” We have almost pushed the most essential thereby outside of language; indeed we are approaching the issue here. It is not, therefore, that phenomenology simply needs other concepts or more of them, but that phenomenology as such is oriented on the basis of the evident as the “objective”—and immediately so. The objective is the structurable and, hence, is able to find its way at some stage into language. Thus Husserl insists on the condition of truth as intersubjectivity, and the constitution of the latter by writing. The putting-into-language as that which makes public—for anyone at any time—what is only then legitimately called: knowledge or science. Thus language and knowledge coincide profoundly here and hence also their shadows. The non-sayable and the non-true. This relation of language to the epistème, however, introduces our next section, which concerns language and the idiom and will thus be elaborated more fully there. The point here, however, is that there is a transformation which occurs in the process of putting-into-language which is: (a) made possible by force, yet (b) therein loses, forgets, buries, or suppresses that “same” force. As Derrida says: “To speak of force as the origin of a phenomenon is without doubt to say nothing.”
In speaking of force, however, one might also be tempted to think in terms of Nietzsche and the two founding forces for all creativity and thus for the imagination as such. For Nietzsche, Apollo and Dionysius represent this original structure, and their struggle is reminiscent of that between metaphysics and its other, or sense and non-sense, order and disorder, the light of day and the darkness of night. One might, in addition, be tempted to understand force for Derrida as Dionysius for Nietzsche, but one should, however, resist such a temptation. We shall take a brief excursion therefore into this realm of intoxication in order to return to Derrida with perhaps a more sober, more clear, and more non-Nietzschean perspective.
We should recall that Apollo and Dionysius represent two principles of intoxication for Nietzsche, and they together provided for the “birth of tragedy” for the Greeks. The Apollonian principle “alerts above all the eye,” and “acquires the power of vision,” whereas for the Dionysian “the entire emotional system is alerted and intensified so that it discharges all its powers of representation, imitation, transfiguration, every kind of mimicry and playacting, conjointly.” He is “continually transforming himself” and “represents bodily everything he feels....”10 It was therefore a function of the Apollonian principle or force that logic, science, rationality, forms, and structures came into being, and a function of the Dionysian that comedy and tragedy as such came on the stage. The Dionysian principle thus lends itself to “frenzy, hallucinations, endemic trances and collective visions.” One might wonder if science as “white mythology” could not be considered a “collective vision” or an “endemic trance” for Derrida, and reasonably so. For Derrida, the two principles are not to be radically separated as one sets apart the oppositions of metaphysics. There is a certain game, a certain interplay from one side to the other and back again, which allows for the function of both “as” independent, and indeed as distinguishable. Thus one could not identify Dionysius with force and Apollo with language, to return to our subject at hand. The difference between them is also force, and therefore it cannot be localized or captured within one of the terms. Such is also the case with the relation of language to force, however. Indeed the two sets of relations are not identical but are analogical. A crucial distinction and a crucial relation. The relation in question here could also be described as that between Joyce and Husserl in terms of the question of univocity and equivocity of language, as Derrida has explored in his work on Husserl.11 The issue is indeed interplay. It is the relation that exists, yet is prohibited. It is the transgression of form by force and the transgression of force by form. It is “force giving its place to the eidos (that is to say, to the visible form for the metaphysical eye).”12
Thus, just as the radical distinction between language and force has been made, so must it be overcome, but not forgotten. Language is not force, just as Apollo could never be Dionysius, nor a Husserl a Joyce; but the former could not exist without the latter, nor the latter be expressed without the former. The gap, or the inadequation of the form to the force, or of form to non-form is the abyss which goes by the name of différance. The space of inadequation is a space of movement, a spacing, and also a certain timing, a certain temporality. The “two universes” certainly do actually coexist, if Derrida is correct, but one cannot speak of both of them simultaneously. It is therefore one of the intrinsic limits of language which we speak in accepting the fact that we cannot, by definition, speak of it as such. Nor can we speak of anything as such in a profound sense, as we shall see shortly, but only point toward the “as such” with a netting that only catches the as such. The realm of the “as such,” as we have seen is not the realm of which we are speaking. Yet, more precisely, it is the only realm of which speech can speak. The more precisely we aim towards our object the less clear it becomes. This too we must demonstrate as essential to our problem rather than a deliberate “confusing” of the issue. First, we must turn towards the idiom and the second limit of language.
(b) The Death of the Pure Idiom
There was in fact a first violence to be named. To name, to give names that it will on occasion be forbidden to pronounce, such is the originary violence of language which consists in inscribing within a difference, in classifying, in suspending the vocative absolute [my emphasis].13
This “original violence” of language therein inscribed the possibility of taboo, of prohibition, and with this the possibility of law itself. To name is to distinguish—in effect, is to be born—to become separate, to be separated, to be is to be other, therefore, as primordially prior than to be the same. The condition of “sameness,” uniting differences, is therefore a more radical difference. And the condition of difference is the name. The notion of an improper name is thus a contradition in terms. Therefore, Derrida calls the notion of différance a multiplicity of things. The appellations themselves he terms “nicknames strategically chosen.” Différance is not, however, the idiomatic, so we shall proceed with some caution here. The other names of différance must be left as unannounced, therefore, for the moment.
The notion of naming, as a violence, is a violation of the idiom, of the purely unique, idiosyncratic, non-repeatable, non-representable. In the first instance we were concerned with that which language can never capture, whereas now we must deal with that which language, for Derrida at least, seems to kill. The “name” is the result of this process, not its beginning however. In the beginning the idiom lives, for Derrida, and thus it is killed with the installation of language as such:
The death of absolutely proper naming, recognizing in a language the other as pure other, invoking it as what it is is the death of the pure idiom reserved for the unique [my emphasis].14
The paradox here is that, as we have seen with force, it is not possible for language to speak of its origin, of its other, of force. Thus what does “recognizing in a language the other as pure other” signify here? We should remark first that the term “pure” also appears with respect to the reference to the idiom. It is “the death of the pure idiom,” not paradoxically, that of the idiom in general, but the pure form, i.e., not the impure idiom, or at least so it seems. What is at stake here is the issue of purity and impurity therefore, and much more so in fact than that of the idiomatic and the repeatable. What language kills is thus the purity of the idiom and it does this, also paradoxically, by “recognizing the other as pure other.” In the movement from purity to impurity and from impurity to purity we can perceive perhaps the very movement of différance itself. As language names, that is installs itself, it therein makes the pure idiom impure and makes an impure other purely other. What this entails is a radical dislocation and reorganization of “things.” It is precisely the constitution of the object as object; of the constitution of the concept as concept; that is, of the concept as such. It is the making-proper of the name. (One should recall that propre in French means proper and also clean in English.) But how can the making-impure of the idiom be the same as the making-pure of the other? This is precisely the founding act of metaphysics, according to Derrida, in that the other becomes excluded from the House of Being as such—that is, from the Same. Indeed the radical distinction of same and other, identity and difference, Being and non-Being is inaugurated here. One should also remark that Derrida speaks of “the death of absolutely proper naming,” which is not the death of absolutely proper naming but rather that death that ensues by virtue (or vice) of the process of absolutely proper naming. The banishment of the other from the same is what is in question here. And the ensuing death of the pure idiom. But how can an idiom be impure? Is an idiom not essentially only an idiom? What sort of other could or does the idiom have which could contaminate it? The generality of language itself seems to be the only answer to such a question. That which “contaminates” the pure idiom must be universality. The pure idiom, as Derrida says, is that which is “reserved for the unique.” Yet after the advent of language, nothing is reserved for the unique. The idiom is contaminated with generality—is overcome yet sustained—since it is not the death of the idiom as such of which Derrida speaks, but of the “pure idiom,” to repeat. Thus it is a death which is not a death at all. The pure idiom surely must die, but what is sustained is a certain sort of (albeit contaminated) idiom. But much of this argument hinges upon the distinction between the “pure idiom” and “the idiom as such,” or the “idiom in general.” One might justifiably wonder at such a distinction and question its legitimacy perhaps. We shall attempt to clarify this apparent confusion. First, the idiom as such, or idiom in general must by definition be the most general form of the term idiom. It is from the idiom-in-general that one can then derive various types of idioms. Such types might include: biological idioms (mutations, for instance) physical idioms (the unpredictable in the physical universe), and indeed pure idioms. That pure idioms resemble idioms in general is only the case if one insists on a metaphysical definition of the “in general” as radically excluding its other and therein becoming “pure.” This need not be done, we insist, and in particular with reference to Derrida, should not be done. When he speaks of the pure and the impure and most oppositions in general, he does so with an eye to their “secret relationship.” It is not for nothing that he refers to the oppositions of metaphysics as “copulating concepts.” Thus we insist on the distinction between the “pure” and the “in general.”
Returning to the idiom, language therefore kills something. As we have said, it kills the purity. But surely this is a paradox in that language, it seems, can only speak of the universal; that is, is it not language itself which installs the purity, as we have shown with the “pure other”? How can language at the same instant perform two opposing and seemingly mutually exclusive operations? Perhaps, for Derrida, there is no such “thing” as language in general. That is, language itself is neither pure nor an object, but that which allows for the possibility of objects. But in saying this it seems that we have shifted language now into the realm of force; that is, as a precondition for and hence one step removed from the “object” as such.
This emergence of the “object as such” might also be called that of the idiom as such—or perhaps, the “pure idiom.” But we have shown that “language is the death of the pure idiom.” How then can language be at once the condition of the life and death of the pure idiom? Simply because language is the condition of the possibility of the pure and the impure. It is language itself that makes things into things by making them proper; that is, with names, and hence with certain properties, certain qualities that are henceforth inscribed therein, by definition. Thus language is the condition of the possibility of the purе-in-general, or of purity as such and thus also for the pure idiom. This is not simply sophistry but a chain of necessity which will point towards what Derrida calls (nicknames) différance. We are also pointing toward another limit of language here which, although first emphasized by Hegel, was perhaps first thought by Plato, who said that “writing is the condition of the law.” Once written, the law will exist for all and for all times, and one can continually refer to it and not depend on subjective and fallible memories. For Hegel, a more profound relation is revealed when he refers to the order of language as the order of truth:
And the unutterable—feeling or sensation—far from being the highest truth, is the most unimportant and untrue. If I say “the individual,” this individual, “here,” “now” all are universal terms. Everything and anything is an individual, a “this,” and if it be sensible, is here and now.15
And for Derrida, we have the death of the pure idiom by the movement of language whose function is to “name” and therein make proper. But still a paradox emerges, and this entails: (i) that the idiom-in-general “exists” prior to language, and (ii) that the impure idiom “exists” after language (within it and perhaps in spite of it), and thus (iii) there is another impoverishment or inachievement, intrinsic to language, and therefore another of its limits can be revealed. The first problem, concerning that which antedates language, must point us towards an indescribable abyss. The notion of being-before-language is non-sensical intrinsically—just as “nature” as such is non-sensical. The concept of nature exists only in relation to its others: culture or history. The idea of a pure nature, prior to the advent of culture, cannot be sustained except by the forgetting of the origin of the notion itself. This has indeed been done however, in Western thought, and thus should not be seen as inconceivable. But the process of the effacement of the constitution of such a construct should perhaps now be considered and taken into account. It is the forgetting that Derrida has shown even Husserl to have inscribed in the process of history, as eidetic, as we mentioned earlier. Therefore, with respect to language and the idiom, we must wonder about the “pure idiom” as being even possible “prior” to language. Is it not simply a function of language, of distinction, of naming, of separation that anything such as the “pure idiom” or the “unique” could exist? Of course, to say that something exists already begs the question here, since for Derrida, “to exist” is “to be an entity,” and hence to already be “inscribed”: to be named. As we said, to be named is to be born. Nevertheless, we must wonder about the non-place for the “pure idiom” in the context of which Derrida speaks. We propose that the “pure idiom” is an a posteriori concept which perhaps points beyond language rather than back, behind it—posthistorically, rather than prehistorically—and which therefore is a product of language, albeit exceeding the latter. Oedipus and the master/slave dialectic in Hegel must immediately come to mind in this context, although both paradigms must also be resisted. We must pursue the chemin of Derrida here without prescriptively imposing ready-made paradigms and interpretations on his thought. The thought of différance is emerging, albeit slowly, perhaps painfully, in this process and one must take the time for its appearance. Thus the question of the “return of the idiom” to overthrow language, its Father, or Master, must be ruled out of order at this juncture—also the very one when it appears and seems to be relevant.
If the “impure idiom exists after language,” our second query above, a certain relation of language to the impure idiom seems to be presupposed here. One might even reduce language as such to the impure idiom as such. But there is no after of language. Language resists temporality intrinsically. It persists over time. Therefore, unless we “return” to an age of silence as the “time of the cry,” prehistory, which is evidently not possible, the issue of the “afterwords” of language seems essentially a non-issue. Finally, with respect to the inachievement of language, its impoverishment, it seems we have found something substantial. Language, in its act of naming, aims to make pure the impure—to make things proper; that is, to produce things themselves. However, it must of necessity fall short of its goal (also a parallel situation to that of Husserl aiming towards absolute univocity, and Joyce towards its inverse.) What language cannot do, therefore, is kill the idiom as such. What it does is kill the “pure idiom ... reserved for the unique.” In a word, language is powerless to destroy the idiomatic, although it surely contaminates it, changes its identity by giving it or assigning it one that is fixed within a system of others, defined by differences themselves, and so on, in a chain of signification. Thus in a very profound way, the violence of language is a limited violence—inherently. It aims toward the in general in general, but it can never achieve such a goal. Just as Leibniz’s mathematization of the universe must necessarily fall short of an algebra for everyday life. The excess in the system is precisely where the idiomatic appears and reappears, even if only for an instant. It is the life of language that it itself can neither kill nor speak of. But once again, the idiomatic is not force, although it is perhaps what Derrida calls “the force of force” and the “force of weakness.” It is perhaps that which “with no force of its own forces force.” And in this movement and this process language can say nothing. Indeed, it is the “nothing” that language cannot say.
(c) The Thought of Language
If we accept the limits of language thus far described in terms of force and of the idiom in general, then how must one consider what Derrida terms la pensée with respect also to language? The thought of language must of necessity exceed language, exceed its object and indeed the “object form” in general. Thought, for Derrida, is precisely this excess. Far from being therefore indescribable (unsayable), however, we propose to move once again toward our issue via metaphor, via the structure of analogy rather than identity. In addition, we hope to show that this structure is the foundation of “identity” insofar as the same is always the same as. But first we must distinguish Derrida’s “thought” from that of Heidegger, which is at first glance not dissimilar:
‘Outside the economic and strategic reference that Heidegger justifies in giving to an analogous but not identical transgression of all philosophemes, thought (la pensée) is here for me a perfectly neutral name, the blank part of the text, the necessarily indeterminate index of a future epoch of différance [my emphasis].16
Derrida admits therefore to an analogous relation to the “same term” in Heidegger’s work. Analogous must mean: (i) similar but not identical; and hence (ii) having the same structure (form?) but with different contents. In a certain respect therefore the term “thought,” for Derrida, performs the same function in his work as it does in Heidegger’s, though they define the term differently. For both it is that which exceeds metaphysics and therefore, in the same breath, “all languages of the West.” Metaphysics and language are thus profoundly synonymous for both thinkers. In addition this “excess” also extends beyond “all polemics” which take a “stand” or a “side,” “one track” on an issue. Thinking, for both Derrida and Heidegger, provides an essential opening which draws one towards the abyss of the unknown, of the enigmatic, and hence of the “as yet unnameable.” Yet Derrida calls thought “a perfectly neutral name” in this context. Surely a slip of the tongue (pen), since, as we know from Derrida himself, “the name is not neutral”—it is that which profoundly violates and kills the “pure idiom.” However, Derrida continues to situate his claim in terms of textuality, and it is here that he breaks from Heidegger. For the latter, we should recall, thinking is simply “being drawn into what withdraws.” It therefore defies all relation, all formalization, all law and all method, as technique. For Derrida, however, “thought” is an index. (Indeed he speaks of “thought” and not “thinking,” one should also remark.) “The blank part of the text ... where the whites take on importance” is surely the enigmatic, but not the enigmatic in general as for Heidegger. We shall not be rid of the analogical relation of Derrida to Heidegger so easily, but for the moment let us focus more precisely on Derrida’s claims as such. Thus, Derrida continues:
In a certain sense, “thought” means nothing. Like all openings this index belongs within a past epoch by the face that is open to view. This thought has no weight. It is, in the play of the system, that which never has weight.17
The metaphor of weight here is not without allusions to Nietzsche, we suspect, and to the issue of gravity, the gay science, and the movement beyond good and evil. But we will only suggest such a reference at this point. Thought, for Derrida, seems to be situated on the border between the “system” and that which lies “beyond it,” yet is also in a certain sense precisely that beyond. “It has no weight” for the scales of Reason. That is, of language. As an “index” it is a pointer, a sign-post along the way that is not a method. But is this not also a contradiction in terms? Only in an absolute sense, we insist, and it is this absolute positivity, so characteristic of science, metaphysics, and language, which we are aiming to expose here as its limit. Beyond such positivity one finds, instead of theses and/or antitheses, hypo-theses. That is, the realm of the possible. Indeed that of the possibility of possibility is precisely thought, for Derrida, we claim. The opening is not “not-yet,” but already; it is the “déjà pas encore,” but not that of Hegel. It is not a usurping or capturing or speaking, in an exact sense, of the possible. It is a pointing towards that possibility of possibility. Just as “infinity” always exceeds the “totality,” for Levinas, thought always exceeds that same language it uses to express itself.
We find this relation more precisely explained by Derrida with reference to what he terms “the imagination.” As he says: the imagination “is the freedom which only shows itself in its works. These are not in nature but they live nowhere else but in our world.”18 Thus the imagination is to be found in a certain sense behind or beneath that which it produces. It is not, however, the “author” of the work in this sense, but something instead which can never be made present. It is “the enigmatic origin of the work as indissociable unity and structure.”19 But can we not decipher this “enigmatic origin” and reveal it, bring it to the light of day, understand it reasonably; in short, speak of it? Derrida will insist that this is structurally impossible. Since language is the language of structure, the idea of possibility, the not yet and already in structures intrinsically escapes. This is because “the freedom of the imagination consists precisely in this: that it schematizes without concepts.”20 It is evidently the Kantian imagination of which he speaks here. It is that which allows for the unity of sensibility and the concepts of the understanding that is at issue. Kant himself admitted to these same problems in treating the imagination.
This schematism of our understanding, in its application to appearances and their mere form, is an art concealed in the depths of the human soul, whose real modes of activity nature is hardly likely ever to allow us to discover, and to have open our gaze. This much we can assert: the image is a product of the empirical faculty of reproductive imagination; the schema of sensible concepts, such as figures of space, is a product and as it were a monogram, of pure a priori imagination, through which and in accordance with which, images themselves first become possible. These images can be connected with the concept only by means of the schema to which they belong. In themselves they are never completely congruent with the concept [my emphasis].21
It is well known that Kant was not adverse to the recognition of unavoidable mystery and therein the limits of knowledge, the epistème, and of course Reason. But Derrida parts company with his predecessor in the phrase “an art concealed in the depths of the human soul,” although he would certainly agree with the remainder of this phrase. The imagination for Derrida is not a “property” of humanity in the sense of metaphysics’ determination of “man as the measure of all things.” As with Heidegger, such “humanism,” anthropomorphism, and ethnocentrism must be ruled out. Thus the imagination transcends the locus of the “human soul” for Derrida, as distinct from Kant. Further distance from Kant will also become evident as we proceed in terms of the “subject” of “experience” and the transcendental aesthetic, in particular with regard to the “constitution” of space and time, for Derrida, as distinct from Kant’s “simple acceptance of them a priori.” But more on this must be delayed at this stage. Derrida’s imagination, it seems, betrays a profound relation to that which he calls thought, which “never has weight in the system.” The notion of thought, as we have seen, is an “opening” from within the system or structure, which points toward its “exterior.” In this sense, it contains a certain force, indeed that very force which language itself cannot contain. In short, thought as imagination is a power, albeit unrecognized by language, but one which allows for the possibility of language or representation as such. As Derrida says:
Imagination is the power that allows life to affect itself with its own representation. The image cannot represent and add the representer to the represented, except insofar as the presence of the re-presented is already folded back upon itself in the world insofar as life refers itself to its own lack, to its own wish for a supplement. The presence of the represented is constituted with the help of the addition to itself of that nothing which is the image, announcement of its dispossession within its own representer and within its own death. The property of the subject is merely the movement of that representative appropriation. In that sense imagination, like death, is representative and supplementary [my emphasis].22
The power of the imagination, its force, is therefore the force of death. It is the economy of an exchange, a “dispossession” that is announced in its very movement. More precisely, the imagination is itself a movement, for Derrida, but one that is not without its own laws of motion. It is only “free” within very particular limits. Its liberty, as he says, is not to show itself except in its works; that is, its products, its effects, its results. The term “liberty” for this characteristic might easily be shifted to its opposite, but this is not the issue here. The point is that the movement of the imagination is constrained itself by an economy of presence and absence. Is this the economy we know so well as that of classical Western metaphysics? And further, is this precisely the economy of language itself for Derrida? To make present one thing at the expense (price, cost) of making absent something else? It would seem so. But is this formulation “beyond metaphysics,” or does it not also betray a fundamental link at the level of presuppositions for Derrida’s thought of the imagination? We must proceed cautiously here since we may easily fall back into the “abyss” of metaphysics. The “absence” of the imagination is the absence of death, a radical absence, which therefore is not the absence “of something.” It is a space that allows for the appearing to appear—to be represented in its presentation. Therefore the image as the “image of death” is precisely that “nothing” which was never “something” and can never become “something.” As Derrida says: “Imagination is at bottom the relationship with death.”23 Death must be considered in its structural and therefore metaphoric sense here, for Derrida, since it represents a “radical absence” of both subject and object in the process of the appearance of both. Further, we must point to the significance of “death” as the abyss, as the radically unknowable (for us and for Derrida) and hence as that which will always escape formalization. The work of the imagination is therefore always only in relation to this, and therefore also to thought or that which “means nothing.” But thought is not the same as death or the imagination for Derrida, and certainly thought and the imagination must also be distinguished. “The blank part of the text” is not imagination certainly, but it is Derrida’s metaphor for thought, and may well be for death also. As we said earlier, it is “where the whites take on importance,” in particular for Mallarmé, whose poetic productions put the “whites” to “work” in his play with language. First, the text is not a book, for Derrida, but rather exceeds this totalization. The book is surely a text, but the reverse is not and cannot be the case. What this means for thought is that the “text,” as inscription, leaves spaces, indeed constitutes spaces within itself in order to “be a text.” It constitutes openings in itself which exceed itself. The text is not, precisely speaking, the spacing; the text is that which allows for spacing, and yet spacing is that which allows for texts. But more on this later. It seems that the text, in terms of thought, opens the possibility of the latter; it opens the openings, yet does not control them. In the same way, the “image,” in a certain sense, is “death,” for Derrida. The outline is never closed in on itself, or it would not demarcate a form and hence a content. But the outline of the image opens itself to other images—to thought itself—to the possible. As Derrida says:
Imagination alone has the power of giving birth to itself. It creates nothing because it is imagination. But it receives nothing that is alien or anterior to it. It is not affected by the ‘real’. It is pure auto-affection. It is the other name for différance as auto-affection.24
Just as thought “means nothing,” the imagination for Derrida, “creates nothing.” Each is the condition of the possibility of the other in this sense. But their relationship is also much more intimate. Both thought and the imagination are in a profound respect immune or transcendent from that which they produce—their own effects, it seems. Since the imagination “alone has the power of giving birth to itself,” it is not produced by its products (i.e. works of art). Further it “receives nothing that is alien or anterior to it.” In a more radical sense, it seems that nothing could be anterior to imagination. It is that which always pre-exists that which exists. It is always therefore anterior to that which is. (To be, for Derrida we should recall, means “to be an entity.”) With reference to thought, for Derrida, we should perceive a striking similarity in structure here. Thought is “radically other” than that which “presents” it or indeed represents it. Thought also receives nothing that is alien or anterior to it. It is a realm that paradoxically is both closed and open. It is closed in on itself in that it cannot be captured, cannot be formalized or totalized. In a word, it cannot be spoken, only spoken of, or spoken from. Exactitude, objectivity, and hence language as such will always be inadequate in the formalization of thought. But thought is a realm that is also “open” to language in a relation of overlap, of excess, and hence of inadequation once again. It marks the index in the “old system” (metaphysics) of the “as yet unnameable”: the epoch of différance. It is, as we have shown, a signpost but, in so being, effaces itself. Thought is not within language, but it is, as Derrida says, “nowhere else.” This sense of being-in-exile outside of the house of Being that is language is perhaps the play of language itself: its force, its weakness, its form in general, and its idiomatic structure reserved for the unique. But in describing language as such, Derrida insists that the term language itself must be overcome. In a certain respect, by illustrating the “limits of language,” one has therein already stepped outside of “that same structure.” Language, as inadequate to force, the idiom, and thought, has shown itself to be a structure more expansive than language as such, yet still representable by that term. This expansion of the realm of that which formalizes, or inscribes the differences is therefore a crucial step in the recognition of that which has exceeded first the literal category of language as such and now, as we shall see, the metaphoric expansion to inscription in general as writing.
(d) From Language to Writing
Although it may seem that the notion of writing, as a particular organization of language as such, should therefore be considered within the concept of language, Derrida insists that language as such is a subset of a wider notion of writing as such. Writing is to be considered for him therefore as a certain structure wherein language itself is inscribed. Thus for Derrida: “the name of language is beginning to let itself be transferred to, or at least summarized under the name of writing....”25 What is interesting here is that the notion of the name remains that which links yet divides language from writing. The “name” is precisely that which language is in control of. It is the property of language and indeed the “proper” of language, as we have shown. Yet Derrida insists on a shift beyond language but via this same “property”—from one to another. How can “writing” therefore exceed the limits of language? Indeed it does not, in a certain sense, but rather it illustrates a certain form of the formality or structure of language as such. Thus the paradox here is similar to the problem of a “science of writing” as a “necessary yet difficult task,” since science is itself dependent on writing for the constitution of its object—indeed of objectivity as such. But the shift from the name of language to the name of writing allows for that which exceeds language to at least be pointed towards. Derrida explains the importance of this shift in the following way:
The secondarity that it seemed possible to ascribe to writing alone affects all signifieds in general, affects them always already, the moment they enter the game. There is not a single signified that escapes, even if recaptured, the play of signifying references, that constitute language. The advent of writing is the advent of this play ... [my emphasis].
Writing thus comprehends language.26
But what is “this secondarity” for Derrida? It is precisely the derivative formulation that metaphysics (Western thought) has ascribed to the sign. The sign as determined as a sign for something else; the sign as without a proper place, without a proper identity; as self-effacing and as an inessential detour “from one full presence to another”; as the passage through history towards the truth—the non-sign. It is this “secondarity” which Derrida claims “affects all signifieds in general.” Thus, he says, “the signifier is always already in the place of the signified” and “from the moment we have meaning, we have nothing but signs.” The reference as such exists nowhere and indeed is simply an effacement of its own constitution via the sign system it denies. More of this later when we approach the incessant, indefinite, and infinite play of the supplement in terms of the structure of différance. At this point, the structure of the signified as such must be addressed as it leads us from language to writing, for Derrida. But what is this “game” he speaks of? It is the game of the “world”; it is the world “playing with itself”; it is the “initial doubling” that allows for all representation and hence, in turn, all presentation as such. Metaphoric to be sure, we can only make suggestive remarks here to point toward that which seems to be within the “said” (written, for Derrida) and which as we should now recognize, must always remain essentially unsaid. Nevertheless, he continues, “there is not a single signified that escapes, even if recaptured, the play of signifying references that constitute language.” We must recognize here that a shift in levels has been instituted such that “writing as such,” as this “play of signifying references,” is now claimed to be that which constitutes language. Thus writing is more fundamental than language at this point and not interchangeable with it. Further, he says the former comprehends the latter. This is surely a sort of Aufhebung on his part such that language is itself “captured” here in a system of circulation, of exchange, an orbit that extends beyond itself. The significance of this “capture” by writing must now be addressed. Derrida explains this “comprehension” and inclusion of language by writing in the following way:
One says language for action, movement, thought, reflection, consciousness, unconsciousness, experience, affectivity, etc. Now we tend to say writing for all that and more. To designate not only the physical gestures of literal pictographic or ideographic inscription, but also the totality of what makes it possible; and also, beyond the signifying face, the signified face itself. And thus we say writing for all that gives rise to inscription in general [my emphasis].27
Thus the Aufhebung of language by writing moves to the level of the conditions of the possibility of the former by the latter. This is therefore not properly an Aufhebung in the sense that Hegel uses this term. The “conditions of possibility” of a system in their relation to that same system must radically exceed that which they describe, or inscribe, according to Derrida. Thus “comprehend” here must be considered not as an expanding “circle or orbit,” as a “greater area” of understanding, but as a more profound, more primordial level of interpretation. The term “writing” itself will be overcome in the same way as we proceed.
For Derrida, the term writing can be seen also in terms of athletic, political, and military organization: “One might also speak of athletic writing, and with even greater clarity of military or political writing in view of the techniques that govern those domains today.”28 These “types” of writing surely do not refer to pamphlets on the subjects, but rather to a certain formalization of athletics, of the military, and of politics. Athletic writing, for instance, should be considered that repetition that is “the formation of form” itself. The training that produces the athletic. It is thus in a certain sense a form of technology about which we are speaking here. It is the technique that is writing in a certain sense. It is that which is intrinsically repeatable and that which “governs” the formation of form. It constitutes the objectivity of the object—in all fields—but most obviously in that of the sciences perhaps. This is why the comprehension of what Derrida calls “writing” is structurally impossible from within the domains of science and philosophy. As structures, these fields must betray a certain “incompetence” to comprehend their own “conditions of possibility,” and indeed therefore their own origins. As we have said earlier, the origin of philosophy is not intrinsically philosophical, nor can that of science be scientific. Indeed it is this certain “exorbitant” chance that allows for the possibility of systems in general. As Derrida says:
Indeed we must comprehend this incompetence of science which is also the incompetence of philosophy, the closure of the epistème.
This common root, which is not a root, but the concealment of the origin and which is not common because it does not amount to the same thing except with the unmonotonous insistence of difference, this unnameable movement of difference itself, that I have strategically nicknamed trace, reserve or différance, could be called writing only within the historical closure, that is to say within the limits of science and philosophy [my emphasis].29
We should recognize several things here. First, that with the shift from language to writing we have (a) not moved outside of the realm of “science and philosophy” and yet (b) have moved “outside” the realm of language (another name for philosophy as such, we should recall). Thus one might justifiably ask “where are we at this juncture?” The most accurate response must be “nowhere,” but this will not help to clarify things very much. More precisely, the shift from language to writing is, in a certain way, the putting of language as such (and therefore philosophy or metaphysics) under erasure. It is the very exposure of language to its limits. Yet we speak of this, and therefore use language, and hence metaphysics. Indeed Derrida himself names the “unnameable”—albeit with a multitude of “nicknames” which must bear some family resemblance. Yet, as he says, the “common root” (a philosophical presupposition, to be sure, for all differences in order to constitute the “same,” the “object,” the “identity”—in short, the “proper”) is not a root. We have therefore nothing substantial with the term writing, and therefore it slides into “trace,” “reserve,” “différance as we move “beyond the historical closure” of “science and philosophy.” We are indeed moving into the realm of those excesses that language could not capture: force, the idiom, and thought. We are thus exceeding the property of the proper and have begun to speak of the “forbidden territory” here, or perhaps of that which is not a place at all but rather a space: the spatiality of space, more precisely. But first the shift to writing is also a shift of writing, for Derrida.
Writing, we should recall, is the condition of the possibility of language, but it is therefore also a certain condition of impossibility. The possibility of language is certainly the possibility of the proper, of the making-pure, of the constitution of the object, of the name-in-general, and therefore of the concept—indeed of the Concept of the Concept. Therefore the “condition of its impossibility,” to repeat, must undo or put in check the achievement of these same ends. A certain conflict is thus at work here, or a certain tension: two contradictory commands that nevertheless produce the possibility of language, since it does, at least appear to, exist. An apparent double bind seems therefore to be the essential structure of what Derrida calls writing. But this is not actually the case, since a double bind, by its very installation as such, therein paralyzes all movement. There is “no exit” absolutely from such a structure. But this is hardly that which Derrida is describing with his term “writing.” Indeed nothing could be further from his thought here. Instead, this tension intrinsic to writing is a movement, unceasing, which produces effects, one of which we might name language. This movement is “kept in motion” by the very opening we described earlier as force, the idiom, and thought. Therefore that which founds the “closure” also keeps it open to a future that is not, as he says, the “present future,” but always potentially at least radically other (death itself, perhaps). The double bind is thus exceeded in the very movement that is writing itself. What this presupposes, of course, is a certain space of temporality—a spacing itself which shifts the ground and hence the ground of itself. Indeed it has “no proper place,” as we should recall. Thus writing is what Derrida calls the “supplement par excellence,” in the sense that it is never full, yet always too full and overflowing its own bounds. We shall describe this paradox in greater detail later in terms of the structure of différance itself, but here wish simply to re-mark the place where the “proper” is shifted (according to its own grounds) to the “non-proper,” or displaced as Derrida says:
If supplementarity is a necessarily indefinite process, writing is the supplement par excellence since it proposes itself as supplement of supplement, sign of sign, taking the place of a speech already significant, it displaces the proper place of the sentence, the unique time of the sentence produced hie et nunc by an irreplaceable subject, and in turn enervates the voice. It marks the place of the initial doubling [my emphasis].30
That writing is not a replacement for speech, nor modeled thereon, is clearly explicated by Derrida with reference to Husserl, to Heidegger, and to the problems of phonologism.31 The locus of the phonè as that of pure presence of consciousness to itself has been treated in terms of the “concept of metaphysics for Derrida” in the preceding chapter and will be considered again with reference to the constitution of subjectivity, for Derrida, shortly. At this point it must be recalled simply that “speech,” “living speech” of the “living subject,” cannot be invoked as more primordial than writing, or more proper. Since language itself is a function of “the play of writing,” speech too must be seen to be derivative in this context. As Derrida says, this “displacement enervates the voice” and “displaces the unique time of the pronounced sentence.” It is not for nothing that Derrida speaks of the “death sentence” as the structure of the sentence as such. But that too will be treated in greater detail later.
Why writing is the “supplement par excellence” for Derrida must indicate a certain definition or precision of this term “writing.” As he says: “To write: is to know that what is not yet produced in the letter lives nowhere else, does not await us as a perscription in some topos ouranos (τοπος ουραηος) or some divine understanding. Meaning must wait to be said or written in order to become that which is to differ from the self that it is: the meaning.”32
Thus writing “contains” a radical originality, a radical institutionality, a radical founding, a radical creativity in its essence. Its essence is rather that it does not “contain” this, but lets the to-be-written be written. It is difficult (perhaps impossible) to describe this process, since the to-be-written is the not-yet-written and hence the not yet existent for Derrida. It is perhaps thought, the idiom, or force, but it is not yet an “object of thought” or, more precisely, inscribed within the system of differences which gives us that which we call: meaning. Thus writing constitutes meaning for Derrida, or more precisely, the condition of the possibility of meaning as such (in particular and in general). Unlike Plato, he insists that the “said” exists nowhere prior or apart from the saying; that is, the said-as-inscribed. In other terms, this means that the signified as such does not exist for Derrida except in the effacement of its essential relation to the signifier as such. It is the business of philosophy to precisely make such a division and to efface therein the constitution of the “object” as object. As the extension (thought) beyond the closure of philosophy and science, the term “writing” attempts to include precisely this “unthinkable” aspect. We should not, however, confuse writing in Derrida’s sense with the transcendental ego and its acts of object-constitution for Husserl. Phenomenology, Derrida insists, remains trapped within a metaphysics of presence and is therefore powerless to comprehend that which, in essence, can never be made or become “present to consciousness.” It is this presentation to consciousness as such that circumscribes what Husserl calls evidence, the condition of the epistème, and truth. Precisely why writing exceeds “consciousness as such” requires an exposition of what, for Derrida, is essential to the constitution of subjectivity—a certain absence—that which (a) was never present, and (b) will never be present. But we will approach this issue in greater detail within the horizon of that which we call the “principle of death” within the structure of différance. At this point, we have sought only to show the necessity of the transgression from language as such to the term writing, for Derrida. The significance of this shift cannot of necessity be totally justified at this point, but in the attempt to follow the path of Derrida, we have sought to expose a certain structural shift which entails the inclusion of that which language as such could not accept, describe, or comprehend. We thus approach the abyss which Derrida calls “the original valley”:
Writing is the moment of this original valley of the other in being. Moment of depth also as fall. Instance and insistence of the serious (grave).”33