”Each time I write something, and it feels like I am advancing into new territory, somewhere I haven’t been before and this type of advance often demands certain gestures that can be taken as aggressive with regard to other thinkers or colleagues(… ), every time I make this type of gesture there are moments of fear. This doesn’t happen at the moments when I’m writing. Actually, when I write there is a feeling of necessity, of something that is stronger than myself that demands that I must write as I write. I have never renounced anything I have written because I have been afraid of certain consequences. Nothing intimidates me when I write. I say what I think must be said. That is to say, when I don’t write there is a very strange moment when I go to sleep. At that moment when I am in a sort of half sleep, all of a sudden I am terrified by what I’m doing. And I tell myself ”you’re crazy to write this!”. ”You’re crazy to attack such a thing”(… ) and there is a kind of panic in my subconscious.(… ) In any case, in this half sleep I have the impression that I have done something criminal, disgraceful, unavowable, that I shouldn’t have done. And somebody is telling me: ”But you’re mad to have done that!” And this is something I truly believe in my half sleep. And the implied command is this: ”Stop everything! Take it back! Burn your papers! What you’re doing is inadmissible! But once I wake up, it’s over. What this means(… ) is that when I’m awake, conscious, working, in a certain way I’m more unconscious than in my half sleep. When I’m in that half sleep there’s a kind of vigilance that tells me the truth. First of all it tells me what I’m doing is very serious. But when I’m awake and working, this vigilance is asleep, it’s not the stronger of the two. And so I do what must be done.”

 

Jacques Derrida

Derrida (2002)

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