“Un Moment de Peur”

Jacques Derrida on the Problematics of Deconstruction.

A wonderful description of the levels of consciousness at work within a writer. Writing what appears to us out of a “feeling of necessity” brings on a reaction to our “exposure.”

To be human is to vacillate between these two positions. I don’t believe we can maintain either in isolation without courting insanity.

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3 thoughts on ““Un Moment de Peur”

  1. Beautiful. I am a fan of Derrida and other decontructionists. I am also aware of the negative reactions their ideas elicit from others, including those directed at me when I venture into that territory in dialog. I am in somewhat the inner space D describes when negotiating the terrain of prckly egos over on Babylon.

    But like Derrida, an inner daimon takes over when I share online, and the voice of diplomacy and accomodation gets temporarily silenced. I thought for a while to interpose a waiting period before I posted my thoughts, but the daimon would jump up after the waiting period was over, and peremptorily say, “Post it as is!” Something within insists that authenticity trumps diplomacy, and I tell it straight, unlike Emily Dickensons sage advice. “Tell the truth, but tell it slant…” Of course I was the same way when I was painting and writing poetry — just put it out there as fresh as it came through, no revisions!

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful sharings.

    1. The point Derrida was making was that we have to be attentive to both. Both have a “reality.” There are consequences.

      In relation to the incidents you’re trying to connect this to, in my own experience, I have a very different reaction to “leaving the pale.” I think it is necessary to not “censor” ourselves, but look closely at what others are suggesting about how we are coming across. I can’t ever discount the possibility that I am behaving badly, simply that; and that I’ve let anger or fear get a hold of me and lashed out. This isn’t what I think Derrida is defending. In fact I don’t see this as a defense of anything, just a statement of conditions.

      Actions and the way we present ourselves make our cases for us, not arguments. That’s something those we all disagree with don’t seem to get. It’s not an easy lesson and we all falter at times. I hope you again see yourself clear of your anger.

      Instead of looking for fights with those who are closest to us, it’s essential that we work to see how to connect with those farther and farther removed from our sensibilities. To do otherwise puts a lie to all we’ve agreed on here and on other forums. There’s a strong distinction between a call for “repression” and the request for maintaining conviviality. We all need to lean it and apply it in our relationships.

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