Wednesday, February 16, 2005


Athens, 18-21 December 1997

...saw all the friends from "Demeure..." once again, those you talk about in your chapter on "The Greek Delay." You know them now. Still in the same hotel, on the Lycabette. Didn't sleep last night: the Acropolis, visible from the balcony, illuminated through the mist until sunrise, I loved...I also love "through," the word "through" [a travers]. What if one were to perform the shibboleth of this viaticum? Just about untranslatable, like the subtle difference between a travers and au travers de, or de travers [sideways, crooked], like the nouns le travers [foible] and la traversee [crossing] (by sea rather than by air or land, except for crossing the desert, and the desert within the desert was referred to on an island, Capri, during the first of two trips there). The crossing is the figure for every voyage: between the trance or transport, and overdoing it, the extravagence [outrance] that crosses the frontier. But if one traverses (traveling, crossing, or going through the Latin memory of) this word, one finds in it, besides the idea of a limit being crossed, that of a deviation [detournement], the oblique version of the detour. It says, in a word, everything about my crosstruths. My little truths, if there are any, are neither "in my life" nor "in my texts," but through what traverses them, in the course of a traverse that, right at the last moment, diverts their encrypted references, their sidelong wave, down a counterpath [le salut en contre-allee]. From him or her--to the other. Cross-cut-reference [reference de traversee], that's the edge the texts of imminence I was talking to you about last time are written from; en route toward the uninscribable that is going to come--or that has just come [vient de venir] to me, but always without horizon, without prior announcement. At least without my knowing it, and neither "in the text," nor "in life," but between and through. When all is said and done, the work of this crossing is what I have always called the trace: traveling itself....Someone asked me the other day what my "influences" were then, stupid question. Replied quick as a flash: "none, none that might tell you anything," but it is true that I always write "under (the) influence," most often through my two sons, toward an encounter with them. They are my sole judges in the long phantasm, as one says "in the long run," that's all there is to it, th esole influence I recognize, oblique but intractable. Two metabolizers of hyperbole; the formula? negotiating more than one superego. to be influenced by one's sons is not a simple narcissistic circle as those in a hurry to reach a conclusion might allege, presuming to know what narcissism is. And the Odyssey. There is there, in the infinite detour, really another origin of the world, an insurmountable secret, and death on the way, the other that is the least reducible to the inside (careful, not the other "inside," but th eother least reducible to the inside). The one that commands us through a transversal, or transverified deviation: the poem of the wholly other. For we are indeed talking about a poem, a whole poem, theirs, they know it before me, they know everything before me. You will see what authority Felix holds over you already...(Derrida, Counterpath, 23-24)

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