'We' are the Text:
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And what about the movement which takes place in shifting from a thinking of `myself´ to my thinking of an `Other´? Regardless of my relationship to this other, be they friend, lover or enemy, we could liken the fundamental basis of self-other relation to that between present and past. Just as we indulged ourselves in arguing that memory, as loss and dislocation, is foul before it is ever fond, we could mark the relation of myself to an other as disappointing and interruptive relative to what contingently precedes it, before it is ever intimate. Even if my knowing of myself amounts to a re-inventing of myself differently instant to instant, we could distinguish between a contemplation-of-self and contemplation-of-other as the movement from a relatively accelerated region of inventive experience to that which is impoverished and dispersed by comparison. In other words, my shift of `attention´ from me to an other, before it amounts to anything else, would constitute a decadence of momentum-mood, a forgetting , negation, or departure from the fresh presencing of self. The most primordial sense of self would effect none other than the affirmative fullness and peace of presence, and the other would mark nothing more than the moment of absencing of self.
But, examining a self-other relation more radically in light of our recent analysis of the dynamics of mood , what could a sense of decadence or disappointment signify? Like my experience of the other's apparently anachronistic thinking, my very experience of the other as decadently other, seen most fundamentally, effects no definable direction of movement. The relation of my anticipating another's story to my anticipatory reading of my `own´ experience reduces to nothing more than a minuscule aesthetic shift, akin to that of the transition from my supposed joy to my sadness, or my futuring to my nostalgia. It preserves no retrievable meaning; only the repetition of a moreness going nowhere, as no-trajectory. Myself and another have no original site in a body or even in an embodiment. Like terms such as joy, sadness, past and future, `me´ and `they´ locate no region of sense beyond always a new instantiation of more, a trace less powerful than differance in its (near) absence of aesthetic-affective effect. There is no `me´ who experiences a world of `others´, except as I use such a term while unknowingly hiding its destabilizing history as a double mark of meaning which is always itself as a new particularity of more, as always less than a new determination, a new sense so profoundly and insubstantial similar to what relates to it that it has no identity beyond this declaration of `we´, of `two´, of `more´.
The ethical significance of the thinking of another as anachronism, as the apparent regurgitation of a moment of an impossibly integral and self-similar cultural history, is not to be found in the supposed conjuring of an epistemological archive within which we can forcibly imprison him, but in a spectacularly close structure of belonging, familiarity, predictability, substancelessness linking him to me, and me to myself, depending not at all on the supposed permanence of names which would constitute the unfolding of this thread of relation. He is radically like me because a `past´ to which his thinking apparently belongs is itself a radically insubstantial furthering of a radically insubstantial me. We could in fact say that he IS always already me, as I am already him, as the repetition of my experience as intricate moreness, but such a claim would miss the mark. There is neither a he nor a me as determinable objects or senses. If experience does not accumulate itself as a panorama, there is no sense in which our thinking can be said to exceed Derrida's or some other discourse, standing as an achievement in relation to a history of philosophy. Once it is thought, meaning's structure as infinitesimal difference was always already implicit in the possibility of a history, and we could not think of a perspective prior to this thinking, because such a nostalgia would itself constitute a furthering. Our thinking is not an achievement of history, not a transcendence of moody alterity, but that which would precede and continue as any `encountered´ notion of alterity. Before mean ing is any ontic thing, before it is deconstructive event, it is `moreness´. This `moreness´ loses none of what is proper or `essential´ to it as it maintains itself through/as the texts it encounters.
Although we have spoken of meaning's subliminal movement of condensation as `hiding within´ other discourses, as that which is not `overtly articulated´ by their language, meaning´s gesture doesn´t work WITHIN a deconstructive, or any other, way of thinking but already AS all ways of thinking that we `encounter´. The unfolding of a finite-infinitesimal edge of meaning would manifest itself as our following of Derrida´s or Hegel´s language. Do we want to remind ourselves that it is not Derrida `himself´ that we write about but our `interpretation´ of his work when we attempt to distinguish between this Derridean text and our interrogation of it? But if we could not locate the `himself´ of a name like Derrida, we also cannot fix an `ourself´ as interpreter or deconstructer. Who are we who read a text, and who is the author? In encountering a text, it is we who are the text, we who unfold as author. It always only our own biography we iterate through our experience in a world. And in saying that it is always nothing other than MY history, MY autobiography, which is revealed to me as a cultural past, as other authors I encounter, we could locate no sense of a `me´ which would know itself, recall itself, be itself so as to enclose the world in a solipsistic prison of transcendental subjectivity. It would be a `we´ rather than a `me´ which gives experience its possibility, but this we is not the meeting between a self and a world, but a radically insubstantial twoness that is the barest spacing between-as memory and presence. Meaning´s double structure as a `we´ destabilizes and prevents the justification of any notion of `me´ as self-reflexive identity. Culture as autobiography colla pses onto a chain of the finest continuity-novelty which is barely the experience of this `we´. The intricate nature of this continuum is not contaminated or contradicted by a question of `whose´ autobiography or culture is chosen as a reference point; our experiencing of a multi-personal, multi-cultural world, understood more radically, is nothing other than signification´s twofold momenting.
To follow a philosophical discourse, to engage another person, to think to oneself, all these modes of experience reduce to a more primordial eventing preceding signification which calls into question any stably definable distinction between me and they, or between me and myself, or even between-as the simultaneity of presence and absence. The rhythm of meaning´s momenting no longer amounts to that which happens TO us from a culture `outside´ of us or that which happens to us from within. The meaning of a thing `happening to me´ as an encounter of a stable two entities, an object and a subject, unravels and along with it any stable distinction between an inside and an outside, a self and a world, any notion of interaction, interpretation, rhetoric, embodiment, perception, or even deconstructive alterity as both a playful within and between.
`We´ are not a subjective consciousness, not an intersubjective matrix or locus of social practice; we are nothing other than the culture of the movement of twoness that has been discussed on these pages, and this movement akin to the illusion of a depowering condensation is (almost) itself as always (less than) new contingent names-senses. As this dynamic, `we´ don´t interpret Derrida, We ARE Derrida, this particular Derrida we experience in the moment that we attempt to read him `faithfully´ in order to then supposedly interrogate or interrupt or deconstruct this text. To interrogate any text is always, then, to interrogate oneself, a `self´ which continues its own self-transformation not just in its supposed interrogation, critique or deconstruction of what it reads, but already at the onset of the initial `faithful´ reading that is supposed to set the stage for the inventive re-reading. This `self´ means nothing but imbecilic play, less than a within or a without. We are always already Derrida, just as we are, at any particular time, any names-texts that we experience. In this way `we´ repeat meaning´s less-than-nameable edge.
It would not be as if the thinking of finitely-infinitesimal moreness would represent some sort of pinnacle of achievement, an isolable particular emerging out of a history of particulars. It would be instantiated as all names-senses-meanings, all moments of an iteration as a repetition which goes nowhere. Even as this term of ours makes itself present as all `other´ terms, the reverse must also true, lest we privilege one method as a key to all doors. To put it more succinctly, from this point onward in our discussion, we need no longer regard meaning´s subliminal less-than-edge as hiding within particular discourses or particular moments of a history, as the correction of a regression or interruption. Our thinking does not move WITHIN a deconstructive differance but AS OUR experience of-as a deconstructive differance or any other presumably named discourse.
Better and Better,
Worse and Worse:
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My experience of a regressive other or a memory begins from a point of meaning which, as a first and only instant of an experience of `past´ or `anachronism´, is the return from nowhere, a non-recuperative double edge. The iterative movement of that edge through an `ago´ or the unfolding of an anachronistic other dislocates one´s present just as a despair furthers a joy or a joy furthers a despair.`No´ functions as a `furthering´ of the `Yes´; absence functions as complicitous with presence in the non-motile momenting of development. What would it mean to say that a no is a furthering of a yes, that my past or my sadness is an incipient continuation and furthering of the that which they seem to withdraw from? What would it mean to say that another's agony and suffering is a furthering of the motive of joy, a joy he now mourns for? How can the suffering and despair which is joy's end be understood as a continuation of joy's momentum and achievement? How can the feeling of a worsening spiral of depression which follows a period of well-being and confidence be understood as the repetition of a pro-gression of understanding? What is left of the philosophical justification, not to mention the ethical relevance, of a notion of betterment when suddenly all valuative senses must be included under its aspect?
Nothing is left of such a notion, to the same extent as we can say that nothing is left of the particularity and content of valuation except what we have revealed as the double structure of a moment of experience. Desubstantialization, `more than´, are terms not opposed to or related to anything else, they manifest meaning´s complex-singular moment. The nature of this point-edge of moreness is so subliminal as to no longer understand terms like joy and despair, even as paired together in all significations, as substantive fatnesses of meaning. To understand the nature of this point of moreness is not to feel something like joy, despair, blame or guilt at all, except as these terms now operate together as a bare mark of dissymmetry, too small to hold any alterity, any differance, any moodiness other than the barest `itness´ as presence-separation.
Names-senses-affectivities such as past, anachronistic or despair could not maintain themselves as recuperably specific meanings. It would always be from a more desubstantialized vantage that we would understand the meaning of something like blame or anachronism; the terms always already exceed themselves in the instant of their appearance, as a split or double instancing, in a move barely other than a self-duplication. We spoke of a more general feature of a history which would retain a certain stability in the face of the transformation of particular meanings. There would be a minimal stability to these terms as momenta of engagement, as phases of furthering.
But where do we find ourselves by naming variations of furthering as incipient or climactic? To speak of furthering as incipience or climax is still to claim a stable difference of value between two terms. We must recognize , though, that if there is something of importance in our formulation of pain or anachronism as a phase of furthering, it cannot be that it `accentuates the positive and eliminates the negative´. We have not eliminated anything that might threaten the pure goodness of development because development is not a good, it is all contingent senses of valuation, or more precisely, it is less than any determinable sense. Even in saying that meaning´s repetition always constituted too insubstantial a content-difference to justify blame and suffering, we invoke a dynamic which threatens any emancipatory purity.
We have preliminarily treated the minuscule self-differing of the repetition of meaning as a projected world akin to a development, a peculiarly vacillating momentum of `more than this´. We did this to capture the feel of a most insubstantial sort of order of relation barely more substantial than the invocation of a notion of the identically same. But we also noted that meaning's edge could not justify itself as any in-itself sense of direction or magnitude that would fix itself as a recuperable measure, as if there were a dominating origin to which all else could be assimilated. If there would also be the experience of disappointment and anachronism, in arguing that pain is REALLY incipient pleasure, that the dislocation of anachronism or memory is REALLY the exhilarating proximity of the now, we risked clinging to the privileging of one univocal sense over other possible senses of meaning's work. This would be an elimination of the repetition, the wildness, of difference and thus a meaninglessness, nonexistence itself.
If the genesis of experience, that about which we can say, `at least this much must is true, always, everywhere´ is meaning´s basis as a desubstantializing `closer to´, then thinking´s edge could not justify itself as `better and better´ in the sense of the choosing of a particular value over others. A history would be a non-directive `more and more´ rather than a hierarchical `better and better´; its motive would see itself in all supposed momenta of mood-valuation as a figure that was too fragile to know what any mood-valuation-sense could mean. If we allow that it is both good and bad, guilty, angry, joyful and sad, progressive and regressive, we need to reduce the force of such names. Meaning´s gesture would be a barely registering effect of difference so insignificant that it is really no guilt at all, no anger, no sadness, no joy. It is instead a gesture which fulfills itself in simply registering itself as a `more´ just barely beyond the death of pure duplication. If, instead of better and worse, we think in terms of past and present, or progressive and anachronism, the same is true. That which seems to be getting worse and worse is a contingently, locally same-new philosophy of worse in each repetition just as every moment of an iteration of better and better is a first and only worldview of better. Falling into deeper and deeper anachronism, sadness or memory is the unfolding of a (barely) different sense, a different philosophy of sadness or memory, each repetition of any of these senses. The notion of `past´, `what was´ does not escape this self-transformation. Gain and loss would in neither case fulfill themselve s as self-identical directions or trajectories such as betterment or worsening, but instead would have no meaning outside of their role as one of meaning's dual poles.
To say that the regressive other shares with despair a structure of incipience is in every case to be speaking of an infinitesimally same-different philosophy of incipience. What, then, is left us of a definition of a word like incipience? Nothing. It adds nothing to the dynamic of experience, just as attempting to force a univocal valuation such as better and better or worse and worse over the exhaustive pregnancy of Being-Two adds nothing to it, means nothing definable that is not already spoken for in an original play.
The progressive and the regressive would form an identity of mutual transcendence, shattering not only any prioristic relationship between the two but also the very supposed quasi-transcendental contextual stability of a meaning of `progress´ or `regress´. The effect of notions like decadence, regression or anachronism are swallowed up by the same dynamic of moreness which engulfs notions like betterment and progress, such that all that we can point to as a recurrence is an edge always maintaining itself as (less than) infinitesimally differing names.
Eventness as Less than Quasi-Transcendental:
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Something like a feeling of recollection and memory as seen via meaning's horizon is now a gesture both too insubstantial and too rich to hold the mystery implied by terms like `past´, `was´, `loss´. To say that the repetition of meaning´s edge is a moreness would then not be to favor one value over another, but to think any and all values, all names-senses-moods, as having no content, no force or effect, other than as a most subliminal gesture too intricate to be characterized as an alterity, an otherness, a decentering, a mood. As meaning´s repetition, each presentation of the new and different is linked in the most intimate fashion with that which precedes and frames it as a moreness. Each follows the other in such close proximity that even to use the word further or transcend is to imbue this structure with more substantiality than it supports.
But if this is the case, meaning's edge would seem to depend on even less than any definable binary of valuation, even that of more and less, presence and loss, proximity and separation. Up till now, there has been one faith we have preserved throughout our reductive unravellings of the metaphysics of mood-sense-value. We have continued to hold onto names to point to meaning's two poles. We left unquestioned the assumption that it is possible to know in any form what something like presence and absence are. But if any attempt at capturing a single, pure valuation to describe the directionality of experience fails to justify itself, as our prior discussion revealed, then we must apply this reasoning to the seemingly protected realm of the play of momenting itself.
If all names reaffirm a less-than-definable gesture of `more´, then `more´ no longer functions as a stable value; instead it reveals itself as a non-recuperable bivalence lurking in-as all names, always itself differently. Not only would there would be no particularity about phases of a furthering other than their status as non-recuperable iterations of eventing, but an event, trace, singular itself would lose its ability to claim its sense or effect as a having-being of two poles that would be understood as presence-absence. The source of this instability would not be the affirmation of a not-knowing, a self-distancing or otherness at meaning´s origin but the affirmation of a notion of bivalence so devoid of effect and self-distancing otherness as to no longer need the thickness of a stable appellation. Anachronism, dysphoria, nostalgia access non-recuperable moments just as faith in names such as anger, fear and joy does. We cannot collect a chain of terms together on one side of a divide and call them `bad´, `negation´, `effacement´, and oppose them to or pair them equivocally, `quasi-transcendentally´ with a second group linked by a supposed common label like `good´, `affirmation´ or `presence´. Meaning´s twoness could not justify itself as recuperably named poles.
We can no longer (and never could) speak of meaning as difference or dissymmetry; terms like regression and progression, affirmation and negation name the poles of this dichotomy only as particular, non-returning instantiations or philosophies of bivalence, twoness. Is this the effect of play as an equivocity of same-other, old-new, less-more? There would be an `it is´ as an edge, as something like two names, but to say that these are names is to grant them more substantiality than they deserve. All of the content of these names would be swallowed up by their nature as something like two. It would not be as though one were split into two. One itself is already two, a dynamic less than a split or separation. `It´ simply `is´ as something like already two, signifying nothing other than this less-than-nameability. That which is less than nameable as two does nothing but be this movement of two. There would be no remainder such that a particular kind of two would be revealed. The twoness that marks meaning´s edge is less than any particular names, such as old-new, same-other, general-particular, split-unity, formation-transformation. It is also less than names which are depended on in poststructuralist and Derridean discourses; double nominations like genesis-structure, affirmational-negational, same-other, transcendental-empirical. As a convenience, we can refer to meaning´s momenting as a named pairing such as re-peat,re-turn, presence-separation, but all that is signified by this is a gesture less than a particular or a relation, less than an `it´, less than an `is´, a gesture working within differance as that which is less than nameable.
The significance of meaning's gesture is not to be found in a preferential canonization of one value over others, but in the insubstantiality and intimacy (and now what could intimacy mean?) that characterizes the dichotomous space of its edge, expressed already too fully as a same-new value. To proclaim one's present despair as a furthering of one's previous joy, as the primordial and incipient phase of its transcendence, is not helpful unless one understands `furthering´ as indicating a relation between one´s supposed present and previous situation of radical continuity and connection founded on a profound lack of separation-content that is its less than nameable motive. Furthermore, we can no longer claim to, or need to, know what `present´ and `previous´ refer to beyond their effect as less than nominal particularities. There never `was´ a past or present as specifiably definable senses.
We have followed-invented a history of so-called philosophy as something like an affective desubstantialization, knowing that notions like desubstantialization, closer-to, condensation and development would serve us only as a preliminary step in the elucidation of a peculiarly inconsequential thinking beneath textual difference. Affirmation-negation would be understood more rigorously as `this and´, wherein to think a `this´ would already be to think `this and that´. If such a notion is what we mean by an event, should our dynamic not also necessarily imply a `this OR that´ , or `this MINUS that´, lest it assert itself as a privileged ideal? Such a move is not necessary, because the essence of `this AND that´ is prior to any plus-minus, and-or dichotomy.
Before we could ever name a twoness as any particular equivocal senses of relation, we would have an `and´ too gentle, because too insubstantial, to reveal any particular way in which it is two. It doesn`t have `ways´ of being double. Double is its only way, its only sense, its only gesture. Its entire effect is exhausted in its affirming itself as a most infinitesimal accompaniment. Must not this accompaniment always be a `different´ notion of accompaniment? Not if `different´ understands `two´ as a particular univocal or equivocal sense, content, mode of relation, such as rift or trace. To say that there would be two is to not be able to know, to not need to know, of what or of how there would be two. Two would not be of any content or kind of difference except its own assertion. Meaning would be defined as a differing from itself only to the extent that it reveals itself as an edge whose poles name nothing but the very sense that there are two. A quality, value, mood or alterity offers nothing, does nothing, is nothing but the experience of `always two´.
Our peculiar use of labels like similarity to convey a play of proximity and separation with almost no effect was meant to capture the sense of a profound non-power in meaning. If we initially spoke of this powerless origin as a radical reduction of difference between events complicit with the reduction of that which would be an event, we must go further and state that the companionship of `and´ is less than that which would be named by terms of proximity or distance, of presence and its loss. To be is to be accompanied before there would be relation and separation, a sameness and otherness, a presence and absence, a more and less, a differing and deferring to function as the poles of a dual trace of meaning. In fact these terms never were, except as any names must now be understood as being in fact nothing other than the gesture of a doubling which is richer, because `less´ substantial, than any nameable duality. If meaning is always already an accompaniment, we add nothing to its essence if we then say that it is an accompaniment of an accompaniment of an accompaniment. To be one is to be two; to be two is to be two more. We get a flavor of this effect in thinking meaning´s projection as a progressing, developing world always `more than´ itself; but `more´ and `less´ are too substantial to justify themselves.
There is so little to grasp within an iteration of terms, too little to hold onto in a name to locate its double effect as content. There is nothing that can or need be said about any stance except that it is that which comes after something else. This `comes after´ is not that which would rely on anything about the nature of two names which would be put together, there would be nothing TO the nature of names, except for an exquisitely simple `again´, which does not first affirm itself and then an object. `Again´ affirms only (almost) itself as a feel akin to, but even more intimate than, any notion of similarity, subsuming, condensation, assimilation, empathy, proximity. When we assert an order of names as a `progression´, it is a progression whose integrity is based on nothing more than a repetition of `again´ as (less than) new names. It is a notion of progression not understood by reference to an exterior opposite like regression. Progress as `again´ is less substantial than notions of progress and regress as themes or categories of momentum. This `again´ operates within both more and less, better and worse, affirmation and negation, presence and absence, but now understands such meanings (and always did) as its own impossibly gentle undulation.
Fundamentally then, `affective desubstantialization´ and `condensation´ refer to the minimization of a distance that was never there to begin with. If meaning´s edge is less than substance and distance, then to move from that which is less than a spacing or differance is to effect `less than´ (and what could this now mean to say?) a gesture of minimization, reduction, moreness. These terms, it turns out, locate nothing other than an ethereal double edge and this is all that we can or need locate as what would otherwise be deemed content-difference as the singular reinvention of history.
If we no longer (and never did) see within a
text the basis for argument, debate, disagreement, moody otherness, then how do we understand the author who disagrees with, opposes or critiques us, who deconstructs our work? Our preliminary treatment of such discourses as apparent anachronism, the seeming return of a subsumed, predictable past, allows us to recognize that the anachronistic other would perceive everything in his world, including his encounter with our ideas, via the limits of his perspective. This means that his appreciation of our text would itself be an anachronistic reading. His encounter with us represents the same dynamic and serves the same role as his movement through any situation. All that he experiences is the furthering of his unfolding understanding as an undulating tapestry of moods co-implicating each other. And how do we reconcile the nature of this furthering, as a faith in contradiction and opposition, with our thinking? It is not a question of reconciliation with another, because his thinking IS our thinking. And this `us´ is more fundamentally an `I´ which is more originally an `it´, an anonymous twoness which is less than a relation.
If the other's thinking is our thinking, if the engagement with a text is meaning's own self-furthering, is this move the performance of a self-critique; do we surprise, threaten, resist ourselves as we subvert the projected intent of another author? It is not a question of a reconciliation between us and ourselves, except as we understand names like reconcile, conflict, disagreement, anachronism as offering no sense of meaning other than as barely new, non-recuperable appellations or instantiations of meaning's reaffirmation as an impossibly intricate gesture. Our apparent move from an anachronistic discourse to a thinking which would seem to subsume it is not the arrival of meaning's self-knowing out of an unknowing past but the repetition of a less-than-nameable edge which is (almost) itself as names like anachronism, past, `cutting edge´ or any others.
The way in which we would move through, and BE a text, as the spinning out of a thread or linkage of always (barely) new names embodies a method which is a most peaceful, because inconsequential, non-directional furthering. Ours is no longer (and never was) a kind of reading of a text which follows the unexpected, the surprising, the contentful-differential particularity or disseminating otherness which greets our attention in a work, when we no longer (and never did) locate such a consequential spacing dividing meaning from itself. There is for us no sense of the unexpected and the surprising in our encounter of a discourse, and this is not the loss of an ability to feel the richness of an event but a thinking of the essence of intensity and richness as `two more´. Our reading equates discourses which say that they are in conflict with each other, that their aims are irreconcilable, as particular moments of our own movement, which is barely any move at all, a dyssymmetry less than nameable as `movement´, not a reified Subject but all there is left of a ´world´. My gaze upon the anachronistic `other´ is the maintenance of meaning´s horizon as always a contingently new particularity of itself, a barely new ideology of `and more´.
The function, aim and motive of history's most fundamental ideology is a desire to tread more ground. What kind of ground? Whose ground? In what sense more ground? It would be as if there were no ground to desire in a world but repetition itself, revealing itself on closer inspection as a double, a dichotomy, a twinning. It is not even that we would desire this double unity but that the double is the basis of a name like desire itself. It is not that we desire more, but that desire is a name for moreness. To say `we desire´ is simply to affirm a `we´ as an it, a self-bifurcation whose poles are less than any stable names, less than presence-absence, affirmation-negation or desire-satisfaction, less than longing or forgetting. The ground of the world would be nothing but the experience of `this and more´, now understood as the repetition of a barely detectable instability. Instability? Not even this, as it is still too loaded with affect.
Less than Repetition:
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We saw how Derrida's differance, as a moody and contentful sense, depended simultaneously on a play within the trace as well as a play between traces. This gesture `between two traces´ allowed Derrida to believe that he could think modalizations-moodalizations, tensions, relative degrees of gatheringness, sufferings and joys. And, in spite of our unravelling of Derrida's moody senses, we have also initially assumed the ability to think experience in terms of vicissitudes of more and less, better and worse. Let us briefly review the basis of the quasi-transcendental architecture underlying these assumptions.
In order for an instant of meaning to register proximities and distances, condensations and decelerations; in order to know what a more or less concentrated, more or less paralyzed and exhausted mode of experience was, the irreducible basis of meaning would have to involve a certain abstractive capacity. How so? The notion of singularity in and of itself would not be enough to originate experience conceived as modalizing, since the very notion of gathering depends on that of a proximity or similarity BETWEEN two things. Since the instant of eventness is utterly particular and non-schematic in its play of absence and presence, novelty and memory, a value like `more´ or `less´ would have to find a way to attach itself to experience, and the self-divided moment of singularity would not be capable of providing this information alone. For this reason, it is only the ability to make a comparison between at least two affirmative-effacing events such as to think this comparison abstractively, as a single thought incorporating two events, that could allow us to locate something like a gathering or a break, above and beyond the simultaneous gathering-breaking which ALL events already intrinsically ARE. It would be necessary to distinguish BETWEEN singularities in order for such a thing as a gathering, as more or less than an other, to be revealed. The presence-absence hinge that marks every event would have to come in at least `two colors´ that could be compared. A singular event of meaning would have to be at the same time within an event and in-between two `consecutive´ events; such a plural structure would be irreducible.
The absent-present play of a singular trace, in its ability to be compared with, and thus thought AT THE SAME TIME with another double trace, would, in this comparative moment, constitute its affirmational-negational poles at once, as an internal identity or abstraction which had coded into it a sense of more or less that could only be realized, that is to say, could not be thought independently of, and in fact would only have its existence in its relation to, another event. In this sense, we have till now agreed with Derrida's comments concerning the structural plurality of differance:
The iterability of an element divides its own identity a priori, even without taking into account that this identity can only determine or delimit itself through differential relations to other elements and hence that it bears the mark of this difference. It is because this iterability is differential, within each individual `element´ as well as between `elements´... that the remainder, although indispensable, is never that of a full or fulfilling presence; it is a differential structure escaping the logic of presence(LI53).
Thus, just as absence could not be thought separately from presence WITHIN and AS the event itself, the irreducibly coded dominant sense (degree or weight of gatheredness) that the event AS A WHOLE, as SELF-PRESENT, constitutes could not be thought apart from, would only be constituted by virtue of, its play with another event (Derrida says the event bears the mark of difference with another event). The instant of deconstruction would be the comparing of a contingently self-identical (abstractive) construction with another such trace. Presence and absence would be coupled three times at once in a deconstruction; firstly (not chronologically) there would be the presenting-absencing play of an event that inventively carried forward or interrupted the gravity of a theme, mode, gathering. Secondly there would be a presenting-absencing event which disturbed the thematic dominance carried by the first event. And finally there would be the presence-absence structure of this dyssymetrical relation of similarity or dissimilarity between the two events that is necessary in order for such a thing as a gathering, mode, idiom, motif to make any sense. Modality does not yet exist AS one event or the other in their respective expositions; it invents its sense only in the relation BETWEEN the two events. These three moments would be inseparable and simultaneous as the quasi-transcendental origin of meaning.
In sum, in assuming that we knew what more and less, gathered and dispersed meant, we allowed the moments of dominant presence (gatheringness) and break from gatheringness to escape their own reduction by being intrinsic to the quasi-transcendental effect of eventness. We had tied the notion of more or less, the basis of groupness or gatheringnness, to the very essence of experience in its bipartite play. When we thought we knew what more and less meant, we assumed a certain abstractive quasi-transcendental architecture for eventness. Modes, hegemonies, dominants, even as always singularly thought textualities, depend on an idea of difference as always a `certain kind´ of difference, a content. By contrast, the instant of eventness thought as less-than-nominal-variations would deprive us of the claim to know sense as content. To be deprived of the ability to think content is to no longer be able to justify ways of being a trace. This is not to say that these sorts of comparisons `can´t exist´, but it is simply to point out that what is being done when one performs even momentarily comparable particularities of variation and modes of eventness is to experience vicissitudes which cannot justify their claim to know what more and less could mean. It is these ways and modes which offer the sense of an event, its moodiness, affectivity. Without a concept of content, there is no longer justification to suffering, guilt, hostility, tears, joy. Not that we cannot `feel´ what these terms attempt to convey in some minimal manner, but that they lose their neurotic force.
More importantly, if modes and degrees of eventness reduce to a particularization that has no room for such concepts, if experience is the repetition of an always less-than-nameable sense of what would otherwise have been thought as the presencing-effacing play of the trace, do we need to assume that meaning's twofold structure turns outside of itself such as to transform, interrogate or continue this prior duality? Is it necessary for us to posit a gesture in addition to that which we have located as the partnering of twoness, in order to convey a notion of repetition and history? Can we not, instead, view a gesture of repetition as depending on nothing more than a first and only instant of the having-being of a less-than-identifiable two? If references to modes, motifs, hegemonies, gatherings and concentrations are to be understood as figures of speech which unravel to reveal an iteration of experience in which gatherings and breaks lose their claim to essentiality, all we could say apriori concerning experience is that any ways, modes, motifs, idioms, concentrations, momenta that are attributed to it unravel upon closer analysis to reveal only the instant of eventness itself as a being-two.
History's effect would not be something effected via a relation between an event and something outside of it, but would have already occurred in the being of that event as a bipolarity. That this bipolarity is repeated is not to say that there can be an awareness of a return of a prior bivalent moment, since this would allow us to be aware of two moments at the same time. That we cannot have this awareness is not the point; rather, we do not need to formulate such an experience in order to account most radically for what a notion of repetition wants to say. Notice that the terms RE-PEAT and RE-TURN already express both the stasis of presence in the RE (backward, again) and the distance of change in PEAT(from the Latin petere: to go) or TURN. There never is really the sense of having something again in a repetition of meaning, only of having a less than definable something and its loss-change. And now that we have put in question the possibility of knowing what such notions as memory-same and novelty-other could mean, the expression `repetition´ offers only reference to meaning´s basis as two. What would we be expressing to speak of a twoness and then its return in the form of an `again´? From whence could this `again´ derive its resources of significance when all that could be known about the world is already utterly exhausted in the experience of `two´? There would be two, and that is all we can or need know or be. Repetition would be synonymous with momenting´s bifurcation, rather than acting as a further activity.
We cannot in fact claim that there is history at all as a multiple experience, as a going beyond the experience of a single moment as imbecilic double. It is precisely because meaning's return to itself is a return from nowhere that we are left only with the information available WITHIN meaning's moment (but now a distinction between within and without loses its sense) in order to attempt to justify a claim as to the affective force of history. It is crucial to recognize how profoundly devoid of valuative effect this double origin of the world is. It is as if there would only have ever been a first moment of time; not an eternal return of that moment but a never having left. Time's moment would be understood not as Cartesian or dialectic temporality, not as dissemination or multiplicity, but simply as a counting of two. If the world has begun and ended with this two, we no longer have the ability or need to understand (and never did) what either difference or repetition (or differance) could mean.
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