Saturday, January 02, 2010


I was thinking about the lovesickness of which we spoke last time in the fervent echo or the melancholy wake of the Song of Songs, the Poem of Poems, as if the poetical of the poetical, of all declaration of love had to do with this sickness of the other, if not of the foreigner in me, of another in me, outside of me, of the other who angers me and puts me out of myself, the other who puts me out of myself in me, of the other always both more ancient and more to come than me, whom I thus mourn as a mourning of me, as if I carried with me the mourning of me carried by the other, there where would thus begin an ageless hospitality, or of a hospitality of all ages, a hospitality which could only survive itself before its time, and of which the poem would say, in sum, from one to the other: I love you, I am sick of love from you, sick of love for you, for while wholly wanting, with all my desire, to die before you so that I don't see you die, for you know that one of us will see the other die, well then, while wholly wanting, with all my hopeless desire, to die first, I would also want to survive you, to have at least the time to be there to console you at the time of my death, to assist you so that you would not be alone at the time of my death: I would want to survive you just enough to help you, the time it will take, to bear my death." I love you" would thus signify this impossible grammar, a grammar that one can find at once tragic and comic, as time itself: I would want to survive you at my death, to survive me in you, to guard in me your mourning of me, etc. And this "I love you, and therefore I guard you/keep you in surviving you" is unforgivable, therefore I ask you for forgiveness there where it is possible to ask for and to grant forgiveness, there where only, you recall, it is unforgivable.

from Hospitality: Acts of Religion, Derrida

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