Forgetting by heart

Glas, 195-196b

by Jacques Derrida

"I forget, in a certain way, everything I write, doubtless also, in another way, what I read. Save this or that sentence, some sentence morsel, apparently secondary, whose lack of apparent importance does not in any case justify this sort of resonance, of obsessive reverberation that guards itself, detached, so long after the engulfing, more and more rapid, of all the remain(s), of all the rest. One ought to touch there (coagulation of sense, form, rhythm) on the compulsional matrix of writing, upon its organizing affect. From what I have written, I have never retained 'by heart', almost, anything but these few words, on the basis of which I am doubtless becoming infatuated here with the genetic 'first verse' and some others. They are: 'l'exergue et le gisant esoufflé de mon discours' ('the epigraph and breathless sarcophagous of my discourse') and 'en pierre d'attente. Et d'angle comme on pourra, par chance ou récurrence, le recevoir de quelques marques déposées' ('protruding like a toothing-stone, waiting for something to mesh with. And like a cornerstone as it can, by chance or by recurrence, be gathered from the registering of certain trade-marks'). Without a comma [virgule] after angle. Angle is always, for me, a tomb's edge. And I understand this word, angle, its gl, at the back of my throat as what at once cuts off and spirits (away) from/in me all the remain(s).
I forgot. The first verse I published: 'glu de l'étang lait de ma mort noyée' ('glue of the pool milk of my drowned death')."

This hydra © Peter Krapp 1994-1997

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