Friday, April 06, 2007
from Maurice Blanchot, "The Absence of the Book" * :
Let us recapitulate: the empirical book; the book: condition for all reading and all writing; the book: totality or Work. But with increasing refinement and truth these forms all assume that the book contains knowledge as the presence of something virtually present and always immediately accessible, if only with the help of meditations and relays. Something is there which the book presents in presenting itself and which reading animates, which reading reestablishes--through its animation-- in the life of a presence. Something that is, on the lowest level, the presence of a content or of a signified thing; then, on a higher level, the presence of a form, of a signifying thing of or an operation; and, on a higher level still, the development of a system of relations that is always there already, if only as a future possibility. The book rolls up time, unrolls time, and contains this unrolling as the continuity of a presence in which present, past, and future become actual.
* Deconstruction in Context, ed. Mark C. Taylor (Univ Chicago Press, 1986.