Fare Well My Loves, Derrida, &c, Cixous. Part II



Fare Well My Loves

Derrida, &c, Cixous


Part II



§ 32.   The only limit in this is the restricting way wou meet those DeathGifts/GiftDeaths; wou make those lips and teeth, by refusal, denegation, suppression, fear, closed teeth—but there too, in the closed closing teeth, there are those grammas where Nothing slips in. Spacing is surely just as much in the very gramming as in the betweens of grammas—as it is between spacing-gramma and spacing-blanks. Traces are the most fragile things, by dreams awakened dreams.

§ 33.  “Jacques Derrida speaks of the intact paradise, whereas everything in this period says the contrary, is about tact, touch, violent touch, scarcely about circumcision, about laying a hand on, about grabbing. The ideal paradise, the one we have lost, was the one that was intact, where one hadn’t touched, where Adam and Eve, newborn mammals, had not touched the tree of good and evil; one must enter here another paradise where something is never to be touched, or hardly, the green, hence not yet wholly perverse, paradise of childish loves?” (PJD, 100)


Let mew therefore dream up,

in the thinnest possible parallel of nothing,

the dream of DerreathandaliCe,

try having them gram – ming, not

inverse but in reverse were the prefix

always already re plays dreamembered verses.


Two columns, writing towards each other, grammachinating a disseminative and supplementative dreamembering:


As for me, I keep forever reminding her each It is as someone said to us: your dead father,

time, on my side, that we die in the end, too would you like it if he wasn’t? I cannot look

quickly. And I always have to begin again. For the answer in the face. One difference between

she—because she loves to live—does not the author and me: the author is the daughter

believe me. She, on her side, knows well that of dead-fathers. I am on the side of my living

one dies in the end, too quickly; she knows it mother. Between us everything is different,

and writes about it better than anyone, she has unequal, rending.[1] […] We live in the middle of

the knowledge of it but believes none of it. She life, the sides of the middle, one never sees them,

does not believe, she knows; she is the one who it is better not to see them. Thus life seems to us

knows and who tries, but she believes none of without end and thus this is how it is so

it.[2] […] It is impossible, it will be forever       [without end and without a side—JD]. As long

impossible (this is the essence, the function, and as the flight lasts. / On the sides of the middle

the event of what is called literature), to decide stands the God. What He sees from the side,

who says “I” in the sentence “I cannot look the it is better never to manage to see it. / It

answer in the face,” where moreover it contains sometimes happens that a violent gust of wind

indissociably the memory of the preceding blows us away to the side of the Side. Better not

question: “Your dead father, would you like it if look, better close your eyes. Once I saw, I

he wasn’t?” Is it Hélène Cixous, the author, or almost saw, I nearly saw the scene from our

“me”?[3] […] In The Step Not Beyond, Blanchot God’s point of view, all I know is that it was

associates attestation with the Neuter, the deadly, to see oneself, to se ourselves, as the

singular place of a passion beyond the human creatures living in time, I nearly

opposition of passive and active:         understood death, life, . . . [4] […] There is in me

–   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   – an unknown force that writes before me

♦ The Neuter, the gentle prohibition against dying, against me, and that I dread this time more

there where, from threshold to threshold, eye without than ever. It is she who is my death. / The

gaze, silence carries us into the proximity of the solution? To write by surprise. To have jotted

distant. Word still to be spoken beyond the living and everything down in flashes. To telegraph. To

the dead, testifying for the absence of attestation. go faster than death. And far from this book

–   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   – whose fields she haunts. […] But one must not

This sentence, as is often the case, tells of the    forget the name. / I forget everything, as is well

double suffering of the same passion, the passion    known, but when it comes to telephone

of death in life, not only the impossible death, but   numbers I have an anomaly. I have the

the dying prohibited, “the gentle prohibition magical names in my fingertips. All the ones I

against dying.” The last words (testifying for the absence keep in my fingers are protected. / This is a

of attestation) are italized. They resonate serious power but it is not reserved for me. So

in what is perhaps a contrasting echo with the “no that a person rises from the dead it is necessary

one / testifies for the / witness” (Niemand / zeugt to catch the ghost by a wisp of life. Besides one

für den / Zeugen) of Celan, who had died shortly cannot catch up with the long departed for they

before. No one testifies for the witness but are totally dead, there is no point calling then.

“speech . . . testifying for the absence of       The resurrection calls are addressed to the

attestation,” with a “for” whose rich equivocation people who died recently for they still remain

remains ungraspable (“in the place of,” “on behalf between two doors for about eight days. Maybe

of,” “destined for”). Further, in the same book, a fortnight. During these days it is still possible

three exchanges follow one upon the other without to bring them back to this side. Obviously it is

connecting: –     –     –     –     –     –     –     –     –  necessary that certain delicate conditions be

–     –     –     –     –         –     –     –     –     –     fulfilled; at stake is the vital bond that unites

Grafted onto every word: the neuter.             two creatures, a bond of which one may think

It is as if he had said to him saying it in such that it is symbolic since it is so imperceptible or

a friendly way: friendship withdraws from us. transparent, but which exists in reality, as

Enlaced, separated: witnesses without those who belong to the tribe of the connected

attestation, coming toward us, also coming toward can testify. This extensible hear, a kind of

each other, at the detour of time that they were nerve, behaves like a living telephone cord. The

called upon to make turn.     –     –         – essential orders, only imperatives, pass through

–     –     –          –     –     –          –     –     –     –     – this thread drawn between two souls, as if the

[…] The engagement to keep secret is a testimony thread only supported a few telegraphic

The secret assumes not only that there should be injunctions. It is men who make sentences.

some witness, be it, as one says, to share in a God speaks in syllables like animals. Divine

secret, but it assumes that the testimony will not yelps: the soul barks the other soul reacts as

simply consist in knowing or making known a if to an electric shock. Come! Be! Stay! Live!

secret, in sharing it, but in engaging oneself, in an So it is that the will is also a physical

implicit or explicit manner, to keeping the secret. phenomenon it wants-must gather all the

In other words, the experience of the secret is, vital currents of the will into a single crucial

however contradictory this may seem, a            point . . .  / In the gap between two doors

testimonial experience. And consequently the those whom we wrongly call dead are in

question of number arises: the question of the one, the simplified state of a microscopic

the two, the three, and the immense question of the eardrum. If there is a bond then, and if from

third, of the witness as third party (testis, terstis). both sides one wants to resuscitate—and of

What is the third party to a secret? What is the course if the contract between the two people

place of the witness? Is the witness the one who is still in full force, but this goes without

takes part in a secret dual, or is the witness not saying—then a return to life is possible.

already a third in the secret? / Testimony seems to     / all this requires a purity of the two souls

presuppose the instance of the instant that, at that that cannot bear the slightest exemption.

very instant, however, it destroys. It destroys it as Both must want it and have the faith without

if it were destroying its own conditions of          hidden thoughts without thought . . . / An

possibility. / For to testify is always on the one acrobatic act of trapeze artists who have

hand to do it at present—the witness must be never touched a trapeze in their history. […]

present at the stand himself, without technical        … goes out. Out. Dead. Out dead death’s

interposition […], and one must do this in order to out/fate death. The word’s out/fate. The word

testify to a present, to an indivisible moment, that dead/death. The fate of the words progress

is, at a certain point to a moment assembled at the out/fate death. The flesh eaten alive.

tip of an instantaneousness which must resist And with each breath it feeds the

division. If that to which I testify is divisible, if enemy. To live one dies. […] But everything

the moment of in which I testify is divisible, if begins with the proper noun. I desire you, I

my attestation is divisible, at that moment it is keep you, I hold you steadily above the

no longer reliable, it no longer has the value of nothingness by your name; I pull you out of

truth, reliability, or veracity that it claims the grave by the braid of name. There is no

absolutely. Consequently, for testimony there small crime more hurtful to myself than to

must be the instant. [O]n the other hand, this catch myself forgetting the name of a person

condition of possibility is destroyed by the that greets me. And the worst thing is that, if I

testimony itself. […] The moment one is a ask this person whom I cannot keep in mind

witness and the moment one attests, bears what their name is, then I execute them under

witness, the instant one gives testimony, there their very eyes. But I did not want to kill the

must also be a temporal sequence—sentences, apparition of the person! Oh! No doubt I do

for example—and, above all, these sentences not have enough of my blood to grant them,

most promise their own repetition and thus their and under my eyes they remain among the

own quasi-technical reproducibility. [T]his shadows. / Between me and my cat the pact

repetition carries the instant outside itself. works through pronunciation. Not only do I

Consequently the instant is instantaneously, at call her intensely, but each time there is also a

this very instant, divided, destroyed by what it betrothal between us; there is a demand that

nonetheless makes possible—testimony.[5] […]unites us in the timbre of my voice dwelling on

The might of this mighty power is not. It goes so her name. “Will you?” she hears and the rush

fast, it comes so fast, even before light and the of her body is a yes I will yes, and each time it

phainesthai, before being, before the is for the whole of life. I am fully aware of it, I

phenomenality of what appears, that is nothing; never call out her name as I would toss a bit

since it has, keeps, or remains this mighty power. fish. [6]


[1] HCI, p. 24, quoted from Jours de l’an (Paris: Des Femmes, 1990), first trans. First Days of the Years, 1998.

[2] Ibid., p. 2.

[3] Ibid., p. 55. 

[4] Ibid., p. 54, again quoted from Jours de l’an.

[5] Jacques Derrida, D, pp. 31-3.

[6] HC, first p. 89, then p. 93; both from Cixous’ OR, les letters de mon père.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: