DERRIDA

ESSAYS
Eveís Dropping 3
Lequeu 4
Manetís Cats 2


IMAGES
Ruins


THEMES
Archive
Labyrinth
Para-site
Specters
The Bridge

Jacques Derrida

"The sign is always a sign of the Fall."

"Imagine that mirrors would not be in the world, simply, included in the totality of all onta and their images, but that things 'present,' on the contrary, would be in them. Imagine that mirrors (shadows, reflections, phantasms, etc.) would no longer be comprehended within the structure of the ontology and myth of the cave- which also situates the screen and the mirror- but would rather envelop it in its entirety, producing here or there a particular, extremely determinate effect."

"What is is not what it is, identical and identical to itself, unique, unless it adds to itself the possibility of being repeated as such. And its identity is hollowed out by that addition, withdraws itself in the supplement that presents it."

"Representation mingles with what it represents, to the point where one speaks as one writes, one thinks as if the represented were nothing more than the shadow or reflection of the representer. A dangerous promiscuity and a nefarious complicity between the reflection and the reflected which lets itself be seduced narcissistically. In this play of representation, the point of origin becomes ungraspable. There are things like reflecting pools, and images, an infinite reference from one to the other, but no longer a source, a spring. There is no longer a simple origin. For what is reflected is split in itself and not only as an addition to itself of its image. The reflection, the image, the double, splits what it doubles. The origin of the speculation becomes a difference. What can look at itself is not one; and the law of addition of the origin to its representation, of the thing to its image, is that one plus one makes at least three."

"There is frame, but the frame does not exist."

"The autonomy of the representer becomes absurd: it has attained its limit and broken with all representeds, with all living origin, with all living present. In it supplementarity is accomplished, that is to say emptied. The supplement, which is neither simply the signifier nor simply the representer, does not take the place of a signified or a represented, as is prescribed by the concepts of signification or representation or by the syntax of the words 'signifier' or 'representer.' The supplement comes in the place of a lapse, a nonsignified or a nonrepresented, a nonpresence. There is no present before it, it is not preceding anything but itself, that is to say by another supplement. The supplement is always the supplement of a supplement. One wishes to go back from the supplement to the source: one must recognize that there is a supplement at the source."

"There is no natural, originary body: technology has not simply added itself, from the outside or after the fact, as a foreign body. Or at least this foreign or dangerous supplement is 'originarily' at work and in place in the supposedly ideal interiority of the 'body and soul.' It is indeed at the heart of the heart."

"The duplication of the thing in the painting, and already in the brilliance of the phenomenon, where it is present, guarded and regarded, maintained, however slightly, facing the regard and under the regard, opens appearance as the absence of the thing in its self-sameness and its truth. There is never a painting of the thing itself and first of all because there is no thing itself."

"The reconstitution of a context can never be perfect and irreproachable even though it is a regulative ideal in the ethics of reading, of interpretation, or of discussion. But since this ideal is unattainable, for reasons which are essential..., the determination, or even the redetermination, the simple recalling of a context is never a gesture that is neutral, innocent, transparent, disinterested."

"In its syntax and its lexicon, in its spacing, by its punctuation, its lacunae, its margins, the historical appurtenance of a text is never a straight line. It is neither causality by contagion, nor the simple accumulation of layers. Nor even the pure juxtaposition of borrowed pieces. And if a text always gives itself a certain representation of its own roots, those roots live only by that representation, by never touching the soil, so to speak. Which undoubtedly destroys their radical essence, but not the necessity of their racinating function."

"No path is possible without the aporia of the gift, which does not occur without the aporia of the promise...there is no gift except on the aporetic condition that nothing is given that is present and that presents itself as such."

"The movements of deconstruction do not destroy structures from the outside. They are not possible and effective, nor can they take accurate aim, except by inhabiting those structures. Inhabiting them in a certain way, because one always inhabits, and all the more when one does not suspect it. Operating necessarily from the inside, borrowing all the strategic and economic resources of subversion from the old structure, borrowing them structurally, that is to say, without being able to isolate their elements and atoms, the enterprise of deconstruction always in a certain way falls prey to its own work."

"Only a memory can recognize this differential 'stamp,' this mark or signature, this patent or trademark that 'time prints on our sensations.' Neither time nor memory is anything other than the figure of these marks. And this 'memory of the present' only marks itself, and this mark arrives only to efface the anteriority of the past."

"The trace, where the relationship with the other is marked, articulates its possibility in the entire field of the entity, which metaphysics has defined as the being-present starting from the occulted movement of the trace. The trace must be thought before the entity. But the movement of the trace is necessarily occulted, it produces itself as self-occultation. When the other announces itself as such, it presents itself in the dissimulation of itself."