Philosophy

“Never, even when cast in eternal circumstances from the depths of a shipwreck such that the unfathomable ocean white at full tide raging beneath the despairing sweep of the lowering sky joined to it like a fallen wing, will a throw of the dice abolish chance.” Stéphane Mallarmé.

Philosophy. On the one hand, there is a will to name and on the other, there is the activity of naming. There is therefore a gap between will and act, gift and economy. What is curious about this gap is that it always maintains itself between the two: neither a pure gesture (a pure will or a gift without return, for example) nor an automatic exchange that would be unrelated to the body that is determined to name. Writing therefore always implies situations that involves both: will and act, giving and trading. As such, writing always takes place by making loops, hesitations, precipitations, and reversals, passing swiftly or with extreme languor from gift to economy thus ending up never in one domain or the other. Any attempt to re-constitute the loops, hesitations, swerves, changes of speed, and u-turns, that is, any attempt to bridge the gap between will and act is both artificial and futile. It is as if trying to impose a seamlessness where there can only be irregularity and fragmentation, radical breaks and endless flows.


Writing therefore concerns not mastery (neither the zen-like mastery of catching thought nor the heavy-handed mastery of professionalism), but a personal relationship with language. It consists in mediating between an inherited language and a language to be invented, between what we receive from the past and what needs to be create for the future—well or badly, in any case, never indifferent to what comes down or needs to be addressed. This mediation always ends up with something alien and strange, something that at first appears to fall into no known category. At the beginning, there was not The Word, but the possibility of semantic conflict, of another way of repeating The Word, of surprising It (and surprising God on the way) with another Word. Alien and strange, this new Word or writing always shelters a whole range of anxieties about the past and the future: the guilt of never being able to fulfill a promise, the shame of having stolen from others, the hope of being forgiven for not being as generous or careful as a predecessor, the delusions of provoking the unimaginable, etc. As such, writing always stands for the event of a coming language; an event that can never be identified with any certainty and in which, one never knows where one is going.

PHILOSOPHY

Published and forthcoming publications

A selection of published and forthcoming essays